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An Introduction to the Devotional Study of the 
Holy ScriptureSm By Edward Metrick Goulbukn. 
First American from the Seventh London Edition. 1 vol., 12mo. 
Cloth, $1.25. 

Thotights on JPersonal Religion; Being a Treatise on 
the Christian Life in its two chief elements, Devotion and Prac- 
tice. With two new chapters not in previous editions. By 
Edward Meyrick Goulburn, D. D. With a Prefatory Note hy 
George H. Houghton, D. D. 1 vol., 12mo. Cloth, $2.00. 

Ttie Idle Word; Short Religious Essays on the Gift of Speech, 
and its Employment in Conversation. 1 vol., 12mo. Cloth, 

Office of the Holy Communion in the Book of 
Common JPrayer ; a Series of Lectures delivered in the 
Church of St. iTohn the Evangelist. By Edward Meyrick 
GoDLBURN. Adapted by the author for the Episcopal Service in 
the United States. 1 vol., 12mo. Cloth, $1.2&. 

Sermons Preached on Var'lous Occasions durmg the 
last twenty years. By Edward Meyrick Goulburn. 1 vol., 
12mo. Cloth, $1.26. 

23. A.I^I^rjlKTON' &c CO., PialDlisliers, 

-. n; 












90, 92 & 94 GRAND STREET. 




These pages contain the substance of some 
Sermons on the Devotional Study of Holy Scrip- 
ture, whicli were formerly delivered to my young 
congregation in the Chapel of Eugby School. My 
connexion with the School has long since ceased ; 
and it would be easy to obliterate irom the work 
all trace of the circumstances under which it was 
originally composed. But I prefer leaving those 
traces, if it were only for " Auld lang syne ; " 
and, as the main argument has in it nothing of 
a local character, and is quite as much adapted 
to Adults as to Youth, I trust the general reader 
will excuse my doing so. 

I wish this little Treatise to be regarded as 
part of a larger Work (" Thoughts on Personal 

iv Preface. 

Eeugion "), wliicli lias been more recently pub- 
lished, in whicli I have attempted to give some 
suggestions for the performance of Eeligious Ex- 
ercises in general. Among these the Study of 
the Holy Scriptures does not find place, because 
I have felt it to be of such transcendent impor- 
tance as to require a separate treatise. In pro- 
portion to the richness of the fruits which may 
be gathered from this study, are the difficulties 
which devout Christians find in the pursuit of 
it. That this book may be the means, under 
God's Grace, of helping some souls over those 
diflSiculties, is the prayer with which I send forth 

this Sixth Edition. 

E. M. G. 




. ^^AHde in me, and I in you^ — John xv. 4. 

Need of a treatise giving hints for the devotional stndy of Holy Scripture — 
Distinction between such a treatise and a practical Commentary— Diffi- 
culty of reading the Scriptures so as to derive edification from them— 
Subject of the Chapter proposed— Union with God (the end of all Ordi- 
nances) cemented by Baptism, and maintained by the Lord^s Supper- 
It involves the access of man to God (Prayer and Praise), and that of God 
to man (the Word spoken or written)— The objection, Why is not more 
said in the Bible about the Bible? considered and answered— The 
Preaching of the New Testament and Modem Preaching not coextensive 
— Conclusion . . . . • . . . Page 1 



" J5i his Law doth he meditate day and nighJtP — ^Psalm i. 2. 

Subject of the Chapter proposed— The Holy Scriptures the food of the 
mind— Analogy between Thought and Digestion— Thought and Atten 

vi Contents, 

tion ooiifonndod by many— Attention fills the memory with the 
points of a narratlye — ^Thought raises questions upon It, and pursues 
them to an answer— Specolatiye Thought, and the difficulties which It 
proposes to solve. Illustrated— Deyotional or Practical Thought illus- 
trated by a meditation upon Matt zy. 21, &c.— Attention analogous to 
the reception of food— Portions of Scripture in the Church Service length- 
ened at the Beformatlon, and why— Ko time for Meditation In Divine Ser- 
vice—The solemn Pause in the Ordering of Priests . . Page 16 



" Wiffi joy shall ye ^ draw water out of the weUs of salvation.^^ — 
Isaiah xii. 3. 

Subject of the Chapter proposed— Analogy between God's works and His 
Word— Besources exist in a crude state in Nature— have to be developed, 
and applied to the relief of man's condition, by Art and Industry— Ex- 
ertion of Thought upon Scripture required, because Scripture is a Book, 
1. of Principles rather than Bules— the difference between Principles and 
Enles exemplified— the absence of certain rules accounted for— 2. of Ex- 
amples rather than Precepts— The Sacred Writers do not comment upon 
their narratives— The absence of amoral to certain narrativeB accounted 
fory-S. The character of Scripture is unsystem&tlo— analogy of Nature— 
the bane and antidote not always found together^-no method of arrange- 
ment in the stars— difference between admiring Scripture and profiting by 
it. Points fbr meditation in reading Holy Scripture— 1. Draw morals 
from examples— 2. Extract principles from rules— 8. Frame rules from 
principles— the necessity of rules for the satisfactory performance of 
divers duties— The sweetness and freshness of Holy Scripture to him who 
reflects on it for himself ...... 28 

Contents. vii 



" Open tfiou mine eyee^ that I may behold wondrous (hinge out of 
thy lato,^^ — ^PsALu cxix. 18. 

The Psalmist found wonders in the Pentateuch— greater wonders may 
he fomid In the Christian Scrlptores — do we regard them as wondrons ? 
— all wonders exclteonr cnrloBlty—- many interested in religions hooks, 
who feel no snch interest in Scriptnre— ISTovelty necessary to excite curi- 
osity—Familiarity with ISTatnre blunts our perceptions of its beauty— there 
may be wonders aboye and beneath the landscape— the helpflimlshedby 
inyentions of art in descrying these wonders— The grand and pathetic dis- 
tricts of Scripture— its less interesting tracts— possibility of treasure lying 
hid beneath these tracts— an instance in point— necessity of research in or- 
der to discern the " wondrous things^^ — still greater necessity of Divine Il- 
lumination—Scripture to be studied both in large portions and minutely — 
interest a^out Eeligion differs from interest 4/n it— let us resolve to live the 
inner life of Eeligion, and we shall be naturally attracted towards the 
Scriptures, as meeting the needs of our hearts . . . Page 43 



" Minding him»df to go afootJ*^ — ^Acrs xx. 13 

significance of every word in the slight sketches of Holy Scripture— St. 
Faults departure ttom Troas on his return ttom his Asiatic toui^His 
probable design in going on foot from Troas to Assos— Necessity of re- 
tirement in order to Communion with God— Impossibility of this re- 
tirement for the poor, and consequent advisableness of opening the 
Churches for them— Meditation on Holy Scripture may be carried on in 
any hour of solitude, if a passage be flzed in the mind previously by a 
short effort of attention— Difllculty of fixing the thoughts may be rem- 

viii Contents, 

edied by a play of the &ncy— Imagining that w.e are to explain to others 
will make oar own thoughts dear^-ObJection, that periods ,of leisure 
-nronld thns lose their power of refreshment, answered— The mind, in 
waking hours, always engaged in thinking of something— This some- 
thing often trivial, often positively evil — Contact of the bmnan mind 
with the mind of God cannot be wanting in refreshment— Hints for Med- 
itation in company— Power of Conversation to stimulate thought— Ten- 
dency- of Conversatioli to turn to trifling or mischievous Bubjects~-Tfae 
Disciples on the road to Emmaus— The high standard of Christian Con- 
versation— -Have we the Spiritual Life, if we acquiesce in a lower stand- 
ard ?— Essential connexion of Life with Growth— The Author's desire 
for the spiritual progress of those under his pastoral charge . Page 61 



'^Sanctify them. Uirough (hy Truth: thy Word is Truth^'r- 
John xvii. 17. 

Sanctlflcation of Man's Moral Nature the general design of Holy Scripturo 
—The parts of Man's Moral Nature— The Affections— The Practical 
Season— The Imagination, and its moral influence— Division of the Old 
Testament— how Proverbs and History fell under one class— reason why 
the moral of certain narratives is absent— Poetry of the Old Testament 
divided Into Poetry of Affections and Poetry of Imagination— Psalms 
the Poetry of the Affections-^their practical use founded upon this view of 
them, and illustrated— position in the Liturgy consonant with their char- 
actei^their use as a test of Beligious Affections— How to use the Narra- 
tives and Proverbs so that one may illustrate the other— Portability of 
Proverbs to the memory, and its bearing on our Sanctlflcation— The 
Prophetical Writings an Inspired Epic— Deflnition of an Epic— Christ a 
Divine Hero, and the incidents of His Gareei>-The Heroism of the passive 
Virtues— How the Levitical Law contains Poetry— provision made in it 
for the love of Symbolism— As the key needs a hand to apply it, so the 
Word, though adapted to our Sanctlflcation, must be applied by the Spirit 
of God— Conclusion 74 

Contents. ix 



^^ Sanctify them Ihr&ugh thy 'Truth: Ihy Word w 2Vw^/i."-- 
John xvii. 17. 

God^s Word the instroment of Human Sanctificatlon— It must necossarllybe 
adapted to its end— Threefold diyieion of the Books of the New Testa- 
ment—Corresponding threefold diyision of the Moral Facnlties— Affec- 
tions attach nniyersally to Human Nature under all plrcumstances— Why 
the renewal of Human Nature must commence with the Affections, and 
not with the Season— Necessary Bequirements in an object destined to 
engage the Affections and elevate the Character— It must be a Person— 
Why not a merely human Person ?— The requirements fulfilled in 
CHSIST as the object of Worship and Trust— The presentation of 
CHRIST in the Gospel Narratives, adapted to attract the affections of the 
Heart— The Gospel successflil with the affections, even where the under- 
standing is but little enlightened— The Primacy of the Gospels in the 
Canon of the New Testament, with the grounds of it— How this Primacy 
is expressed in our Eitual— Conclusion. . . . Page 91 



^'Sanctify them through thy Truth: thy Word is Truth:^ — 
John xvii. 17. 

The Divisions of the New Testament and of the Moral Faculties of man 
recapitulated— The Epistles contain the Philosophy of the Gospel 
tidings— Possibility of appreciating the Philosophy and Poetry of the 
Scheme of Bedemption, without any emotion of the heart— Light 
without Love— The existence of a profound Wisdom in the Scheme 
of Sedemptlon, argued from Scripture— «nd from Season— Men dwell 
little upon this Wisdom, though alive to Wisdom in its other mani- 
festations—The common want of appreciation of this Wisdom has its 
root in Pride— Several points enumerated, in which the Epistles unfold 
the Philosophy of the Scheme of Redemption- Entirely to follow this 

X Contents, 

Philosophy is out of ovx power, and why— The revealed method of 
growing in the knowledge of Biyine Trath, is to embody in our practice 
that knowledge to which we haye attained • . Page 102 



'^Sanctify them ihrouffh thy Truth: ihy Word w Truthy^ 
SoESi xviL 17. 

Becapitulation— Present discussion confined to the moral and spiritual uses 
of the Book of Beyelation— Beasons for believing that it has a moral as 
well as a prophetical signflcance— Bat few can understand the latter- 
Scripture asserts a moral character for the whole of itself— The great moral 
influence exercised by the Imagination, especially in youth— Successful 
appeals to the Imagination by the Church of Borne— and what they ar- 
gue—The dejnrayation of the &culty shown in its tendency to fasten 
upon fictions— the relation in which a Bomance stands to Human Life- 
Some of the sublime scenes enumerated, which the Beyelation presents 
to the Imagination— Christ GHorlfied the Central Figure— The reality of 
those Visions— the moral influence they are calculated to exercise— Why 
St John is called the Divine, and in what sense all should be Divines — 
Conclusion ........ 112 



" For what man knoweth the things of a many save the spirit of a 
man, which is in himi even so the things of God knoweth no 
man, but the Spirit of Gody-^l Cor. ii. 11. 

One man a stranger to the internal processes of the mind of anotheiv-The 
whole mind never revealed even to the most intimate friend— consequent 
misapprehensions of the real character of one another— the Holy Spirit 
or Divine Consciousness must be transferred into our consciousness, 
before we can apprehend Divine Truth— Comparison of the Scriptures 
to a sun-dial, and of the Spirit to Light— Guidance of both the Word 

Contents, xi 

and the Spirit recognised in the Psalms as esseptial—^md* In the 
Collect for St John the Evangelist's day— Necessity of the Spirifs 
teaching illnstrsted— The imaginative fiicnlty necessary to enable ns 
to appreciate Poetry— -The serenity of the writings of the Evangelists 
—its marvellonsness nnder their circmnstances— X man nnder the 
influence of party spirit nnable to appreciate these writings, because 
his ficame of mind is irreceptlve of their tone— The same aigoment 
applied to the Psalms— Bear in mind that 1. The operation of the 
Spirit cannot be distingnlshed from that of the mental Realties, because 
He acts through them— 2. That the individual teaching of the Holy 
Ghost does not interfere with the necessity of Hnman Instniction, 
both tiie written and the preached Word being instroments through 
which the Spirit conveys instmctlon— The study of the Holy Scriptures 
supplies a test of religions character-Oonclnsion' . . Page 124 


" Chd, . . wTiom I serve with my apiriV^ — ^Rom. 1. 9. 

▲ complete specimen of a Meditation is one which calls into exercise all the 
powers of the mind, the Imagination, the Memory and ITnderstandingt 
the Ajfcctions, and the Will— The relative importance of these exercises 
stated— Objection arising from the difficulty of Meditation answered. 


xii Contents. 



Kigbt Thoughts . 158 


God's Love for the Lower Creatures ' . . , ,156 

The Folly of Self-Confldenco 157 


Social Changes preparatory for the Eingdom of Christ . . 169 

The living Sacrifice IGO 

No more Sea ........ 162 

The Tears of Christ 164 




A Sermon on the Holy Commnnion ..... 167 


A Sermon on the different Method observed by Bevelation in the In- 
Amcy and Maturity of the Christian Beligion . . .181 



" Sii^t tn*m«, atilr 3 in jou." — John xt. 4. 

Need of a treatise giving hints for the devotional study of Holy Scripture-- 
Dlatinction between such a treatise and a practical Commentary— Diffi- 
culty of reading the Scriptures so as to derive edification from them — 
Subject of the Chapter proposed— Union with God (the end of all Ordi- 
nances) cemented by Baptism, and maintained by the Lord^s Supper- 
It involves the access of man to God (Prayer and Praise), and that of God 
to man (the Word spoken or written)— The objection, Why Is not more 
said in the Bible about the Bible? considered and answered— The 
Preaching of the New Testament and Modem Preaching not coextensive 

Of all the means of Grace, the devotional study 
of Holy Scripture has perhaps received less illus- 
tration by means of formal treatises, than any 
other. Manuals of private prayer, of family 
prayer, — ^treatises on Prayer, containing valuable 
aids for the right performance of this duty, and 
supplying forms (or at least outlines) for the busy, 
and those who, for want of practice, cannot easily 
collect their thoughts, — exist in abundance. Of 

2 The Position of the Holy Scriptures 

manuals too for the Holy Communion, containing 
helps for Self-Examination, and for previous, con- 
current, and subsequent meditation, there is no 
lack. The reading of Holy Scripture alone has 
been treated in a cursory and meagre manner, as 
if the profitable use of this means of Grace were 
a matter so perfectly simple and obvious, as to 
require no introductory considerations, and no 
subsidiary aids whatever. I do not mean that we 
nave no Commentaries on Scripture : of these 
there exists a large profusion, both critical and 
practical: but the critical Commentary (though 
highly valuable in its own line) is not designed 
for devotional reading, and the practical Commen- 
tary virtually supersedes the operation of the mind, 
by thinking for us, — ^by offering us that food in a 
digested form, which, in a sound and healthy state, 
we ought to digest for ourselves. What seems to 
be needed is, not so much good reflections on 
particular passages, as a series of elementary con- 
siderations, which may facilitate the making of 
those reflections for ourselves. 

For I think that no one, who has sufficient 
spirituality of mind to be aware of the vast differ- 
ence between the formal looking through a Chapter 
and the deriving from it moral light and strength, 
and who has made an honest endeavour after these 
ends in his daily reading, will assert that he has 
found it easy to secure them. Perhaps, if people 
spoke out the whole truth, they would say that 

in the ScTieme of the Means of Grace. 3 

there is no religious exercise, from which they 
derive so little sensible edification as from this. 
No earnest person will allow himself to pray 
mechanically, or to receive the Holy Communion 
mechanically; but there are parts of the Holy 
Scripture (especially its narrative and predictive 
parts) which it is really very hard to read, with 
any thing beyond attention, — which it is very hard 
to realize as the Voice of God communicating 
instruction to His People. Familiarity with the 
letter of the English Translation increases the 
difficulty. In some parts, the collocation of every 
sentence, and of every word in every sentence, is 
known to us beforehand. This deadens the im- 
pression with which haply the Truth might be 
received, if it now made its entrance into the mind 
for the first time, or if, at least, it was clothed in 
a new form of language, or enforced by a fresh 

The present Chapter shall be devoted to the 
consideration of that which lies at the foundation 
of the whole subject — ^The position op the Study 
OP THE Holy Scriptuee in the Scheme op the 
Means op Grace. The relations of our subject 
to other portions of the vast field lying around it, 
will thus be better understood. 

What is the great end and purpose of the Dis- 
pensation under which we live? It is to make 
men one with God — ^partakers of the Divine 
Nature. This is the great end. All means and 

4 The Position of the Holy Scriptures 

instruments find their fulfilment, all hopes and 
desires find their consummation, here. When the 
union of man with God, by our participation in 
the Divine Nature, is achieved, the object of the 
whole Scheme of Redemption is achieved. Christ 
descended from Heaven, and took our nature, and 
suffered in it, in order that through His Mediation, 
— through the instrumentality of His Passion and 
Grace, — we might be lifted up into a participation 
of the Divine Nature. 

This of itself is a glorious thought — ^the designed 
oneness of us, sinful creatures of dust, with the 
Most High God. I must not, however, linger upon 
it, but pass on. 

The Holy Sacraments represent, and where 
they are duly received, effectuate this union. 
Baptism, duly received, grafts into Christ ; so that 
the worthy recipient of Baptism as really belongs 
to Christ, is as really a part of Christ thence- 
forward, as an ingrafted branch becomes, by 
ingrafting, part of the vine. The union once 
cemented must be continued. In Nature it is 
continued by a constant inflowing of the sap from 
the vinestock into the branch. In Grace it is 
continued by a constant inflowing of the Holy 
Spirit from Christ into the believer's soul. This 
constant influx of cementing Grace is ministered, 
in all cases where that Holy Sacrament can be had, 
through a penitent and faithful reception of the 
Lord's Supper ; the Supper is the channel through 

in the Scheme of the Means of Gfrace. 6 

which the cementing Grace, the Grace which 
Jseeps the soul one with Christ, flows. 

So we are told, distinctly and emphatically, in 
the beautiful preparatory Exhortation, which sets 
forth the design and significance of the Ordinance. 
"The benefit is great, if with a true penitent 
heart and lively faith we receive that Holy Sacra- 
ment; for then we spiritually eat the flesh of 
Christ, and drink His blood; then we dwell in 
Christ, and Christ in us; we aeb one with 
Christ, and Christ with tjs.'* And if one with 
Christ, then one with God; for Christ Himself 
said, " I and My Father are One.'* 

Moreover, what is the symbolism of the Lord's 
Supper ? What truth does it teach ? The outward 
part of the Ordinance consists in the reception of 
bodily food. That food, like all other food, is 
received, digested, and, in due time, is incorporated 
with, and undistinguishable from, the body. From 
having been food, it becomes part of the living frame. 

This emblematizes our union with Christ, which 
it is the design of the Ordinance to effectuate, or 
rather to maintain. As the food is converted into 
the substance of the body, so Christ and the 
believing soul are, through the instrumentality of 
the Ordinance, where it is duly received, made 
one Spirit; the difference being, that, whereas 
the material food is assimilated to the body, the 
Spiritual Food assimilates the soul to Itself. 

But now, how does all this bear upon the Study 

6 The Position of the Holy Scriptures 

of the Scriptures? Thus: Union with God in 
Christ wraps up every blessing. You cannot go 
beyond this. It is the summum honum^ containing 
all, and more than all, that heart can desire, or 
imagination can fathom. Does it contain the 
privilege of access to God — of pouring out our 
hearts to Him at all times, of casting our burden 
upon Him ? No doubt the being united with God 
must involve this privilege ; hut it goes heyond it. 
Parties so united as to become one^ must, as a 
matter of course, have the privilege of opening 
their hearts one to another ; from this closeness of 
union, that privilege flows. Again, does union 
with God involve the privilege of hearing God's 
Voice, of receiving from Him messages of comfort, 
guidance, light, counsel ? It involves this also; but 
it, goes heyond it. If I am One Spirit with the 
Lord, it is absolutely certain, — it flows of necessity 
from this union, — ^that the Lord will address me 
ever and anon in accents of direction, warning, 
and consolation. What means a Spiritual Union, 
if it does not involve at least this ? 

Now we have said that the Holy Communion 
is that Ordinance, which maintains (when duly 
received) union between the soul and God. There- 
fore, as that union comprises every privilege, so 
this Sacrament must wrap up in itself* every 
other means of Grace, while it goes beyond every 

* In order to give a more expanded view of this subject, a 
Sermon, preached by the Author on the Holy Communion, is 
subjoined in the Appendix. Note A. 

in the Scheme of the Means of Grace. 7 

otter. And such is indeed the case. Prayer 
(in all its branches) is an element of the Holy 
Communion. Praise and thanksgiving are essen- 
tial elements of the Holy Communion. Reading 
and preaching of God's Word are essential ele 
ments of the Holy Communion. 

We shall find that our Service for the Holy 
CommTinion comprises all the above exercises of 
Devotion. It embraces Prayer in all its forms, — 
containing, as it does, confession of sins, supplica- 
tions^ for Grace in the Collects, intercession for all 
men in the Prayer for the Church Militant. It 
embraces — -nay, it takes its tone from — ^Praise and 
Thanksgiving, containing, as it does, the Seraphic 
Hymn, and the Gloria in Excelsis. It embraces 
the reading of God's Holy Word in the Epistle 
and Gospel, and the preaching or exposition of the 
same in the Sermon, which in theory, and accord- 
ing to the Rubric, forms part of the Communion 
Office. And it was on account of this all-com- 
prehensive character of the Communion Office, 
that it was formerly called the Liturgy, there 
being in fact no branch of Public Worship which 
was not based upon it and contained in it. We 
are accustomed to attach the name of Liturgy to 
the whole Prayer Book, that is, to all the Offices 
of the Church. The Primitive Christians confined 
the term to that single Office, of which they 
regarded all others as only imperfect fragments. 
Morning and Evening Prayer, Intercession, and 

8 The Position of the Holy Scriptures 

Giving of Thanks, were in their view separate 
pencils of light, derived from, and finding theii 
combination in, the supreme Means of Grace — ^the 
Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. 

We see, then, the position which the Reading 
of Holy Scripture occupies in the Scheme of the 
Means of Grace, and can now take a correct view 
of its bearing and relation to all other means. 
TTnion with Christ, or with God through Christ, 
is the end of all means. This union is cemented 
by Baptism, maintained by the Lord's Supper. 
Out of this union necessarily flow, upon this union 
are based, in this union are comprised and in- 
volved, two chief privileges, — ^the access of the 
soul to God in Christ (this is Prayer and Praise), 
and the Message of God to the soul (this is the 
Reading or Hearing of the Word). You have 
only to remember this simple thought, that if two 
persons are united in the closest conceivable inter- 
course, they cannot but address one another; so 
that if God and man are united, it necessarily 
flows from this union, that God will address man, 
and man will address God. The address of man 
to God is prayer, in the wide acceptation of that 
term. The address of God to man is through 
the Holy Scripture, either studied privately, or 
preached publicly. 

It should be remembered that we are here 
speaking only of Means of Grace^ or JEstdblished 
Ordinances. And what we say is that the JEstah 

in the Scheme of the Means of Grace. 9 

Ushed Ordinance through which God addresses 
man is the Holy Scripture. It is not denied or 
questioned that God may address the soul by His 
Spirit, without the intervention of this or any 
other Ordinance ; or that He may by providential 
answers to Prayer speak to the human spirit. 
These things, however, do not come within the 
sphere of Institution^ to which alone our present 
remarks are confined. 

In conclusion we will notice a thought which 
may arise in some minds on the subject of the 
duty, for the performance of which it is the design 
of this little work to furnish helps. 

Why, it may be asked, do we give such a prom- 
inence to the Study of Holy Scripture? The 
Bible itself does not seem to tell us that the read- 
ing of it is so vitally important as religious people 
make it out to be. The texts upon which the 
duty is rested, seem to reduce themselves to two 
or three. For example: "All Scripture is given 
by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doc- 
trine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in 
righteousness: that the man of God may be per- 
fect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." * 
Again, the Bereans are praised for searching the 
Scriptures daily, and applying them as a test to 
the preaching of the Apostle : " These were more 
noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they 

♦ Tim. iii. 16, 17. 

10 The Position of tJie Holy Scriptures 

received the word with all readiness of mind, and 
searched the Scriptures daily, whether those thing? 
were so."* And again, it is said by our Lord 
Himself, " Search the Scriptures ;" f but the words 
admit of being rendered " ye search," and it may 
be much doubted whether this rendering does not 
suit the context better. 

As we may tmfortunately now-a-days come 
across, such foolish objections as these, to a prac- 
tice which is essential to vital godliness, it is 
necessary that we should be furnished beforehand 
with the answer. 

I will put aside the argument from common 
sense (which yet is very strong), that if God 
causes His Counsel of Salvation to be put upon 
record by the miraculous process of Inspiration, 
it must be with the intention that His People 
should study it. I will put aside the argument, 
drawn from the above text in the Second Epistle 
to Timothy, where we are told that tlje Scriptures 
are profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for cor- 
rection, for instruction in righteousness, — and if 
profitable for these ends, then surely meant to be 
studied, by way of securing them. 

Independently of these arguments, I boldly 
-assert that the Epistles of the New Testament 
are full of the duty of studying the Scriptures. 
Though I am free to admit that these words are 

* Acts xvii. 11. f John v. 39. 

in the Scheme of the Means of Grace. 11 

not found there, yet I assert that the Apostle 
Paul is continually harping by implication upon 
the duty in question. For I suppose that it will 
be allowed on all hands, that he dwdls on scarcely 
any topic so much, as on the blessed effects, and 
the necessity, of Preaching. Open an English 
Concordance at the word Preaching, or a Greek 
one at KTipvaoG), K^pvyfia, evayyeM^ofiai^ and the 
abundance of references will fully bear out what 
I say. Now the question is, what did the Apostle 
mean by Preaching? Did he mean merely wh'at 
we mean by it, and nothing more? What in 
modem times we mean by it, is a religious essay 
and exhortation, delivered after Divine Service 
by a Clergyman. No doubt the Apostle would 
embrace such exhortations in his definition, but 
would he embrace nothing beyond these? -We 
must consider the time in which he wrote, and 
the circumstances of the persons whom he is 
addressing. There was then no printing, no 
power of multiplying books, and therefore no 
possibility for ordinary persons of possessing them. 
All the Scriptures of the New Testament did not 
even exist in manuscript, when St. Paul wrote. 
What means of instruction then, and of further- 
ance in Divine Knowledge, had the Church in 
those days? They had the Word, even as we 
have (and the Word is the essential part of 
preaching) ; but instead of having the Word in 
a Book, they had the Word from the lips. In- 

12 The Position of the Holy Scriptures 

spired men were sent abroad into all the world, to 
preach it with infallible correctness. There was 
then the gift of Prophecy — the gift, that is, of 
preaching, nof as the fruit of private study, but 
by Inspiration. 

Times and circumstances are now wholly 
altered. Men inspired unto infallibility no. more 
exist. It is true that to Christian Ministers is 
transmitted now-a-days a commission to preach 
God's, Word; but it is a Word which can be 
ascertained only by study. Candidates for the 
Priesthood are indeed exhorted to pray " for the 
heavenly assistance of the Holy Ghost" (this is 
all-essential even now-a-days, but it is not an assist- 
ance of infallible Inspiration, such as would enable 
them to dispense with study; for the Bishop is 
instructed to add), "that by daily reading and 
weighing of the Scriptures, ye may wax riper and 
stronger in your Ministry." * 

What need any more of inspired men, when we 
have an inspired Book,f — a Book comprising the 
whole counsel of God, and keeping back nothing 
which is profitable to us ? It is indeed important 
to remember (lest we should confound the form 
with the substance), that time was (and that the 

♦ Ordination Service of Priests. 

t The subsidence of the streams of Inspiration (at first diffused 
throughout the moral XJniverji^) into the one vehicle of the Bible, 
is further illustrated in a Sermon which will be found in the Ap- 
pendiz. Note B. 

in the Scheme of the Means of Grace. 13 

time of the Church's greatest purity, when " she 
was white as snow in Salmon "), when the word 
of the New Testament existed without its letter. 
And the Word orally delivered by inspired men, 
was no less precious then than afterwards, when 
they had committed it to writing. But for us it 
exists only in the written form; the Scriptures 
enshrine the Word; and the Scriptures, therefore, 
cannot be over-valued. 

The sum and substance of the argument is, that 
the word Preaching in the New Testament corre- 
sponds not merely to the set discourses of the 
Clergy in these days (though of course it includes 
these), but also to the reading of the Holy Scrip- 
ture, and of such religious books as set forth 
Scriptural Truth. The great thought to be at- 
tached to the term Preaching, is the Word of 
God; whether that Word come through a book, 
or through the voice of a living man, is non- 
essentiaL Think, then, when you read the Scrip- 
tures, that the Word of God ffimself falls upon 
your ears ; reflect that you are performing a duty, 
which is an essential part of Communion with 
Him. Regard yourself as seeking an oracle for 
your direction in the very shrine of Heaven, — an 
oracle which cannot misguide deceive, or lie. Be 
assured that, since God had before Him when He 
inspired the Holy Scriptures, the knowledge of 
ftiture events, and of all emergencies which should 

14 The Position of the Holy Scriptures^ etc. 

arise to His People,* there is some utterance m 
that Holy Book, which is designed to meet the 
deepest needs of thy heart. And read it with 
all the reverence, simplicity, and awe, which this 
thought, if duly weighed, will inspire. 

* '*For it is an excellent observation which hath been made 
upon the answers of oni Saviour Ghbist to manj of the questions 
which were propounded to Him, how that they are impertinent 
to the state of the question demanded ; the reason whereof is, 
because, not being like man, which knows man's thoughts hj his 
words, but knowing man's thoughts immediately. He never an- 
swered their words, but their thoughts : much in the like manner 
it is with the Scriptures, which being written to the thoughts of 
men, and to the succession of all ages, wUh a foresight of all 
hereneSf cotUradicHona, difering estates of the Churchy yea, and 
particularly of tJie elect, are not to be interpreted only according 
to the latitude of the proper sense of the place, and respectively 
towards that present occasion whereupon the words were uttered, 
or in precise congruity or contexture with the words before or 
after, or in contemplation of the prinoipal scope of the place ; but 
have in themselves, not only totally or collectively, but distrib- 
utively in clauses and words, infinite springs and streams of 
doctrine to water the Church in every part." — Bacon* s Advancd- 
mentof Learning, 



" In liB BLafa Xrotb fit mtlJilatt lyaj anXr tiijjit"— Psalm i. 2. 

Sabject of the Chapter proposed— The Holy Scriptures the food of the 
mind— Analogy between Thought and Digestion— Thought and Atten- 
tion confounded by many— Attention fills the memory with the 
points of a narrative— Thought raises questions upon it, and pursues 
them to an answer— Speculative Thought, and the difiiculties which it 
proposes to solve, Illustrated— Devotional or Practical Thought illus- 
trated by a meditation npon Matt zv. 21, &c. — Attention analogous to 
the reception of food— Portions of Scripture in the Church Service length- 
ened at the Reformation, and why— No time for Meditation In Divine Ser- 
vice—The Pause in the Ordering of Priests. 

Having pointed out the position of the Holy 
Scriptures in the Scheme of the Means of Grace, 
I shall now endeavour to furnish some aids for 
making the study of them profitable. 

My eariier remarks shall have reference to all 
Scripture generally. Afterwards we will divide 
the Sacred Volume into the different classes of 
writings which it contains, and consider what 
points of advice may be given, in reference to 
each class specifically. 

16 Of Attention and Thought^ 

The words from the Psahns which stand at 
the head of this Chapter, imply that, in order to 
profit by Holy Scripture, we should meditate in 
it, or, in other words, make it the subject of 
thought. What is meant by Thought, — ^how it 
goes beyond, and differs from. Attention, — we now 
propose to consider. 

First, then, what is Thought? I will take an 
illustration of it from the Prayer Book. In the 
Collect for the Second Sunday in Advent we are 
taught to pray, that we may not only hear atid 
read all Holy Scriptures, but also may mark, 
learn, and inwardly digest them. Inwardly I 
take to mean mentally, or, if you will, spiritually. 
That we may mentally or spiritiuiUy digest them^ — 
this is the' idea of which we are in search. To 
exercise thought upon the Scriptures, is to digest 
them mentally. What the faculty of digestion 
is to the body, the faculty of thought is to the 
mind or rational soul. Food is of no service to 
the body, unless the vital functions operate upon 
it (in the process which is termed digestion) and 
derive nourishment from it. Holy Scripture is 
of no service to the soul, — ^it can minister neither 
to our growth in grace, nor to oup strength in 
resisting temptation, nor generally to moral 
health, — ^unless it be pondered, studied, meditated, 
thought of. Further, the actual nourishment of 
the body, is rather something extracted from 
food, than food itself; and the digestive process 

and the distinction between them. lY 

is that by which this extraction is made, by which 
the food is converted (as we say) into nourishment. 
Even so the nouiishment of the spiritual life is 
contained and wrapped up in Holy Scripture, and 
has to be drawn out for the service of the soul, 
by the operation of the mind upon what it hears or 

We have only to bear in mind the perfect un- 
profitableness of food to the body, if the body pos- 
sessed no digestive power (that is, no power of 
assimilating the food to itself), and we have then a 
perfect image of the absolute necessity of Thought 
or Meditation, if we would profit by the reading of 
Holy Scripture. 

And is not this by itself sufficient to condemn 
many of us ? For are there not many, even of the 
well-disposed among us, who have hitherto con- 
tented ourselves with the mere daily perusal of a 
chapter, without making the smallest mental effort 
to draw forth, for our soul's service in common life, 
the instruction which that chapter is designed to 
convey ? 

This last observation leads me to the distinc- 
tion between Attention and Thought ; by drawing 
which distinction, I hope ftirther to illustrate the 
nature of the latter process. Many persons con- 
ceive Attention and Thought to be something of 
the same kind; they have nothing but the 
vaguest and most ill-defined idea of any difference 
between them. There is, however, the -oddest 

18 Of Attention and Thought^ 

difference; and, as I believe the apprehension of 
this difference to lie at the root of the subject, I 
shall enter into it rather minutely. 

There can be no Thought without previous At- 
tention. But there may be close Attention to a 
subject without one grain of real Thought. 

Attention to any book or discourse is that 
which serves, and which is necessary, to enable 
us to retain the various points of the book or 
discourse in our memory. Attention secures the 
remembering of these various points for a longer 
or shorter period of time, as the memory is more 
or less retentive. For example, we read in to- 
day's Gospel* the beautiful narrative of the 
Syrophenician's appeal to our Lord in behalf of 

* The Lecture of which this Chapter contains the substance 
was preached on the Second Sunday in Lent. The Gospel for that 
Sunday is here given at length for convenience of reference : — 

"Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of 
Tyre and Sidon. And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of 
the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying. Have mercy on me, 
Lord, Thou son of David I my daughter is grievously vexed 
with a devil. But He answered her not a word. And His 
disciples came and besought Him, saying. Send her away; for 
she crieth after us. But He answered and said, I am not sent 
but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she 
and worshipped Him, saying, Lord, help me ! But He answered 
and said. It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast 
it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord ; yet the dogs eat of the 
crumbs which fall from their masters' table. Then Jesus answered 
and said unto her, woman, great is thy faith ; be it unto thes 
even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that 
very hour.*'— Matt. xv. 21-28. 

and the distinction between them, 10 

her daughter. Attention exercised, while that 
story was read, would enable us to answer the 
following questions — Where was our Lord, when 
this event happened ? (It is said by St. Matthew 
that He was in the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.) 
Of what plague did the woman entreat our Lord 
to make her daughter whole? (It is said she 
was grievously vexed with a devil.) How did 
He at first receive her petition? (He answered 
her not a word.) How did the disciples beg Him 
to act? (They besought Him, saying. Send her 
away, for she crieth after us.) 

Suppose some one to have read the narrative, 
or to have heard it read, in such a manner, that 
having afterwards been asked the above questions, 
he has been able to answer them all correctly. 
That person has exercised Attention; and this 
is welL But it is not a profiting by the Scrip- 
tures. It is only an essential process jpreliminary 
to the profiting by them. The knowledge of the 
points of the story, which is secured by Attention, 
is precisely the sort of knowledge with which we 
aim at filling the minds of children in our 
Sunday Schools. And I fear we are far too apt 
to plume ourselves on the large stock of this 
sort of knowledge, which a child of average 
intelligence will in a short time acquire. "We 
forget that, except as an essential preliminary to 
a far deeper and more important process, the 

20 Of Attention and Thought^ 

knowledge of Scriptural facts is absolutely worth 

Now, in the next place, let us consider what 
Thought is, as distinct from Attention. 

A lower form of Thought, and one with which 
I am not at present engaged, might operate 
upon the difficulties of a narrative, — might raise 
questions of speculative interest, and seek their 
solution. Thus, if in reading the story, to which 
I just now referred, it were to strike any one 
that our Lord, at the period in question, is rep- 
resented as being out of the limits of Palestine 
(in the coasts of Tyre and Sidon), and that at 
the same time there were other Scriptural con- 
siderations, leading us to believe that He never 
was literally out of those limits (the . Lord being 
a Minister of the Circumcision, and the business 
of His ministry being not with the Gentiles, and 
so forth), and if he should seek the solution of 
this difficulty, by inquiring whether the words 
coasts of Tyre and Sidon might not (consistently 
with Scriptural usage) be interpreted loosely, 
borders of Tyre and Sidon (district immediately 
bordering on a Gentile country), this would be 
a form of Thought, — ^it would be something 
beyond, higher and better than mere Attention, 
and would of course display a larger amount of 
intelligence. To questions of the above kind, it 
is the design of critical Commentaries to supply 

and the distinction between them, 21 

an answer. And the form of Thought in question 
may be called Speculative Thought. 

Even this, however, is not the Thought which 
is requisite to secure our obtaining from the 
Holy Scriptures that nourishment which we need. 
This is not the Thought which converts them into 
aliment for the soul. 

To this higher form of Thought I will assign 
the name Practical or Devotional, and distinguish 
it from the former, by saying that it brings into 
exercise, not the speculative faculty ; not curiosity, 
in any form or shape; but those moral faculties, 
which the peasant has in common with the 
philosopher — ^the heart, the conscience, and the 

Thought Practical (or Devotional) would raise, 
upon the narrative above referred to, questions 
such as these, and would pursue them to an 
answer. Why did our Lord, so full of tenderness 
and compassion. Who seems to have travelled 
into this far corner of Palestine for the sole 
purpose of giving this woman an opportunity of 
access to Him, meet her with perfect silence, in 
the first instance, and in the second, with the 
discouragement of rough and hard words? 
Answer: Why but because He designs to teach 
me, that if He does not immediately answer my 
prayers on the first application, it is not that He 
does not hear them; and also to draw me on, 
by apparent denial, to greater earnestness and 

22 Of Attention and Thought^ 

importunity in prayer; and to impress upon my 
heart this lesson of lessons, that even if, after 
earnest prayer, things seem to go wrong, and my 
wishes seem to be thwarted. He has still a heart 
of love towards me, beneath this disguise of stern 
severity : — 

"Judge not the Lord by feeble sensOy 

But trust Him for his Grace ; 

Behind a frowning Providence— 

(Why, I think it was indeed a frowning Provi- 
dence, or something even more discouraging still, 
when this woman was accosted as a Gentile dog 
by the Saviour of the world, and it was implied 
that the mercies of the Most High were not for 
such as her) — 

** Behind a frowning Providence 
He hides a smiling face." 

I know then what to think of that little cross 
the other day, which came to me when I was in 
the way of duty, and after I had earnestly and 
resolutely devoted myself to God's Service. I 
fancied Providence was thwarting me, and that it 
was hard to be discouraged, at the outset of a 
religious course, with rough dealing ; but it was 
only the echo of those accents, which flowed from 
the lips of an Infinite Love — " I am not sent but 
unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. It is 
not meet to take the children's bread and to cast Jt 

and the distinction between them. . 23 

to dogs." Then I see very plainly that this 
Scripture is for me no dead letter ; that God, even 
the Most High, is speaking to me through it; 
that His Voice is falling upon the ear of my heart. 
And behold, through patience and comfort of the 
Scriptures, I have hope. I close the Holy Book, 
fully resolved (by Divine Grace) to persevere; to 
pray oftener, and more earnestly, in answer to 
each repulse; and never to abandon the narrow 
path of duty, however many the discouragements it 
may present. 

The person who each day makes this or a 
similar use of any passage of Holy Scripture, how- 
ever short, has gained infinitely more, and done 
infinitely better, than he who has read, with 
nothing beyond Attention, four or five long 

Briefly: the fundamental question which De- 
votional Thought raises upon any passage of Holy 
Scripture, is — ^What spiritual lesson, whether of 
reproof, consolation, correction, or instruction, 
may I gather from this passage ? Will it furnish 
me with arms against temptation? or with com- 
fort under trouble ? or with encouragement under 
depression? or with clearer instruction in the 
path of duty ? in short, what bearing has it on my 
present spiritual state ? 

Having thus explained the difierence between 
Thought and Attention, I T\nll now recur again, 
by way of further illustrating this important dis- 

24. Of Attention and Thought^ 

tinction, to the image proposed at the outset of 
the Chapter. It was said that Thought bore the 
same relation to the spirit of man, as the digestive 
process bears to his body. It is Thought which 
digests the Scripture, converts it into spiritual 
nourishment, and makes it serviceable for the 
pilgrimage and warfare of Life. To what bodily 
process is Attention analogous? To that of re- 
ceiving the food. Of course, food cannot be di- 
gested, where it has not been first received. But 
where the digestive faculty is deranged, it might 
haply be received, without being digested. In 
the same way Holy Scripture cannot be meditated 
upon, except it be first attentively perused. But 
it may be, and often is, attentively perused, with- 
out being meditated upon, without being allowed 
to stir in the heart one single question of personal 
and practical interest. 

Our Reformers knew well the distinction be- 
tween Attention and Thought, and they have 
shown their appreciation of it by certain arrange- 
ments of the English Ritual, which, in concluding 
this branch of the subject, I think it well to point 
out. Every one who has been at the pains of 
comparing the portions of Scripture appointed 
for the Public Service of the Church — 'the Epistles 
and Gospels, for instance — before the Reformation, 
with those prescribed by the new Protestant 
Order, will perceive that our Reformers have 
proceeded on the principle of lengthening the 

and the distinction between them. 25 

passages. The Epistles and Gospels, as they 
stand now, are short passages, but they were 
shorter still before the Reformation. In the 
Romish Service Books at present, you will find 
the constant insertion of short versicles of Scrip- 
ture, but no long tract of it : nothing corresponding 
in length to our Lessons. 

Now, why did our Reformers act upon this prin- 
ciple ? They had a reason for this, as for all the 
arrangements which they made. 

The insertion of very short passages of Scrip- 
ture might be very useful, if there were in Divine 
Service any time to meditate. But if not, then 
the probability is, that the passage will just be 
read over as a form, and fail to make any impres- 
sion whatever on the mini But the fact is, that 
there is no time in the Public Service to do any 
thing beyond attending to the matter in hand, 
whether it be prayer, praise, reading, or preach- 
ing; unless, indeed, the mind was to be engaged 
in weighing what we had heard, while some other 
exercise of Devotion was going on, which would 
frustrate the design of a systematic and consec- 
utive Liturgy, Meditation is, in the nature of 
things, for the closet, not for the Church. There 
you can take as small' a portion of Holy Scripture 
as you please, and make it the subject of Prayer, 
Meditation, and Spiritual Edification. Attention 
is for the Church ; and there accordingly we read 
passages of fair length, sitting some time under 

26 0/ Attention and Thought^ 

the reader, while the mind travels rapidly over a 
considerable tract of a Scripture, and takes in, by 
niere attention, its several points. 

Some perhaps may think, that it would have 
been well, had it been prescribed that in each 
Service a period of silence should be left for medi- 
tation. I think it cannot be denied that such a 
period would have a solemn, and sometimes a 
profitable, efiect. At the same time it must be 
remembered, that an arrangement of this kind is 
not so well suited to the character of the English 
people (essentially busy, active, and unmeditative), 
as it might be to that of other nations. And the 
denying such a period of silence to us on common 
occasions, makes it more striking on that awful 
occasion when it does occur — ^the Ordination of 
Priests. In that most solemn of all solemn Ser- 
vices, immediately before the Hymn, calling down 
the Holy Ghost upon Candidates for the Order of 
Priesthood, it is ordered that the Congregation 
shall be desired secretly in their Prayers to make 
their humble supplications to God for all these 
things, for the which Prayers there shall be silence 
Jcept for a space. The death-like stillness which 
reigns in the Cathedral during that pause, and 
which is at length terminated by the Bishop's in- 
vocation of the Holy Ghost in that most sublime 
of all metrical Hymns, " Come, Holt Ghost, otjb 
SOFLS INSPIRE," — ^is a period in a man's life, which 
no subsequent impressions can efface. 

and the distinction between them. 27 

But enough. We will postpone to another 
chapter some suggestions as to the best methods 
of stimulating thought. In the mean time, 
Reader, weigh what has been said. Endeavour 
to ponder the Scriptures as well as to read them ; 
and remember especially and emphatically, first 
and before all things else, that, as they can only 
be profitably understood by that Spirit which in- 
spired them, all reading, however attentive, how- 
ever thoughtful, which is not preceded by earnest 
prayer for* the teaching and illumination of the 
Holy Ghost, may be interesting to the mind ; may 
be useful, as all information is useful ; but will most 
undoubtedly be profitless to the heart. 

62 Practical Suggestions 

strokes. The fewer and simpler the strokes, by which 
the effect is produced, the greater is accounted the 
excellence of the artist. 

The narratives of Holy Scripture resemble an 
outline drawing of consummate excellence. They are 
all brief, simple, cursory, and rapid. But every 
stroke of the pencil has its effect. Every little trait 
of the narrative is full of significance, — ^reveals to 
us, when pondered, some material feature of the 
circumstances described. 

Thiis it is with the few words which stand at the 
head of this Chapter. 

St. Paul has set his face towards Jerusalem : 
he was concluding the last Apostolic tour, which, 
previously to his captivity, he was destined to 
make. The Troad, as it had been in the first 
instance his point of departure for Europe, so it 
was the first Asiatic ground on which his feet 
trod in returning. He spent seven days here, 
the last of which was solemnized by a religious 
assembly of Christians, at which Eutychus met 
his death, and was afterwards miraculously re- 
stored. The assembly having been brought to 
a close, and the Lord's Supper having been 
administered, St. Paul saw his companions in 
travel embark on shipboard, in order to pursue 
their coasting voyage round the shores of Asia 
Minor, after doubling Cape Lectum. The vessel 
was to stop at Assos (probably to take in supplies), 

to facilitate Thought, 63 

and there Paul engaged to meet 'and rejoin his com- 
rades. For himself, he was minded to go afoot^ 
taking a straight course (the walk would be about 
twenty miles) across the Promontory, instead of 
making the circuit of it.* 

This plan would be attended with two ad- 
vantages. First, it would give St. Paul more 
time with the disciples at Troas, and as he was 
clearly aware f that this would be his final visit 
to his Asiatic converts, these few hours more 
were naturally esteemed a great privilege and a 
comfort. But there was probably another and 
a deeper reason for this arrangement, one even 
more congenial with the tone of an Apostle's 
mind. Shipboard (especially as ships were con- 
structed in ancient times) would be unfavourable 
to that Communion with God, which is the life 
of the soul. No space, under such circumstances, 
can be spared for retirement. There would be a 
crowd on deck, a crowd below, closely packed, 
and possibly noisy. In such a situation it would 
be difficult, if not impossible, for St. Paul to take 
a calm and collected review of what lay before 
him, and to seek from his Loed that inward 
strength and peace, which was essential to bear 
up his heart amid the difficulties which loomed 
upon his prophetic eye in the horizon of the 

♦ See Conybeare and Howson's Life of St. Paul, chap. xx. 
t See Acts xx. 25, 88. 

64 Practical Suggestions 

future. This strength, we may be sure, he sought 
amid the oak groTes and hot springs, through 
which his solitary walk lay. In that walk he 
was free and unrestrained as the air which blew 
around, and as the waters which occasionally 
gushed at his feet ; and probably the thought of 
Him, who on the mountain and in the garden 
spent whole nights in prayer, crossed his mind 
' ever and anon with refreshing and invigorating 

We may take occasion from what has been 
said, to reflect how great a blessing and advan- 
tage is the feasibility of retirement which persons 
in the higher classes enjoy. "Enter into thy 
closet," says OUr Lord, ** and shut the door ; " 
but it is by no means every one who has a closet 
into which he can enter. Think of the case of 
the poor in some great manufacturing city. They 
are busily employed from morning till night in 
crowded factories, where is to be iieard nothing 
but the whirr of wheels, and the clank of 
machinery, mingled too often with the profane 
jest and the ribald song ; and when at home, 
the little lodging is so closely packed with in- 
mates, that any thing in the shape of retirement 
is out of the question. Would that, for the sake 
of these, our Churches stood open day and night, 
in order to afford them opportunities of (at least 
comparative) calm and retirement. The Church 
too would be a place where every object that 

to facilitate Thought. 66 

met the eye would have a tendency to raise and 
solemnize the mind ; and though, of course, it 
must be admitted that even the Church is not 
the place of our Saviour's appointment (the place 
which He recommends is one entirely secluded from 
human observation), still it is far more akin to the 
closet than a crowded and foul lodging-house, ten- 
anted by persons of every sex and age. 

But it is time to turn to our more immediate 
subject — ^the Devotional Study of the Holy 
Scriptures. In our second Chapter, the differ- 
ence between Attention and Thought was ex- 
plained. In this we shall give some short sugges- 
tions of a practical character, which may facilitate 

Our first suggestion shall be this ; that medi- 
tation on Scripture (unlike the perusal of it) 
need not be limited to set times, but may be 
carried on profitably in any hour of solitude, 
and whenever the mind is not otherwise engaged. 
Let the little time which you can secure for the 
study of Scripture in the house, be devoted to 
the fixing the substance (and as far as possible 
the expressions) of some very brief passage in 
the memory. Simple close attention for five 
minutes will enable you to retain a short Parable, 
or a short Psalm, or the narrative of a Miracle. 
Lay it up in your memory, to be drawn forth as 
occasion serves. Possibly at some interval during 
the day, you may be alone. Have recourse to it 

66 J^CLctical Suggestions 

then, and ask yourself seriously, as in the sight of 
God, what practical lessons it is designed to teach, 
what bearing it has upon your spiritual welfare. 

At first you will find it difficult to prevent 
the thoughts from flying off to other topics* 
The power of fixing the mind is only to be 
gained by habit. Perhaps a little effort of the 
fancy may here lend us some assistance. During 
a solitary walk, or at any other period of leisure, 
imagine that, when you return, you will be 
called upon to address an audience on the subject 
which you propose for meditation. Time presses ; 
and when you enter into society again, some 
ideas must be forthcoming. Some little fiction 
of this sort often stands the mind ifi good stead, 
by forcing it with gentle violence into the 
attitude of Meditation. And there is another 
advantage, which arises from throwing ourselves 
ideally into the position of a teacher or expositor. 
It is a plan which will compel clearness of 
thought. Orally to explain any thing to others 
is hopeless, unless first we ourselves are thoroughly 
clear upon it. It wonderfully disentangles all 
difficulties, to consider how we could make plain 
to other minds the truth which is thus beset to 
our own. 

It may be thought, perhaps, that the mental 
exertion which I am recommending, would de- 
feat the purpose of hours of recreation. To 
which I answer, that I am not advocating the 

to facilitate Thought. 67 

necessity of employing thus every interval of 
leisure, but only pointing out that such intervals 
may be thus profitably employed, when time can- 
not be otherwise gained for an exercise which is 
all-important. However, I cannot think that, 
upon the whole, the relaxation, of which we all 
stand in need, would lose its power of refresh- 
ment, if some good portion of it were thus conse- 
crated to the highest of all purposes. It is hardly 
a question between mental repose and mental 
exertion. The mind is always engaged, during 
waking hours, in thinking of something ; it never 
lies completely inactive. With the old and busy 
it turns, as soon as it is released from direct 
duties, upon anxieties or worldly schemes ; and 
little refreshment, I trow, does it gain from pur- 
suing these. With the young, and those on whom 
life is opening, it indulges frequently in castle- 
building, a habit injurious, if much cultivated, 
to a healthy tone of character, and destructive 
of energy in work. He who indulges in base- 
less dreams of the distinguished or happy positions 
which he is hereafter to hold, who imagines a 
senate carried along resistless by his eloquence, 
or a spell laid upon every mind by his poetry, or a 
revolution in literature caused by his works, is ex- 
erting his mind certainly ; the tension is strong and 
powerM for the time ; but it is an exertion (Uke un- 
due gymnastic exercise) too likely to result in pre- 
mature imbecility. 

68 Practical Suggestions 

These, however, are the more innocent shapes, 
which unchastised and unbridled thought assumes. 
Who will say that its shapes are always, or 
even generally, of this character ? Who will say 
that the mind, in a simple state of vacancy, 
simply unpossessed of good thoughts, is in a 
safe, or indeed in any thing else than a most 
precarious condition ? The house in the Gospels, 
which the unclean spirit left for a while, was 
again re-occupied by him, in sevenfold force, 
simply because he found it on his 'return vacant ; 
because it had not been tenanted, during his 
absence, with a better and a stronger occupant. 
And has it not often happened, that in the hour 
when the mind has been released from active 
business, and not definitely engaged with any 
particular line of thought, the demon of Pride, 
or Revenge, or unclean Lust, has assailed it, and in 
consequence of its entire unguardedness and aban- 
donment, has carried all before him, without strik- 
ing a single blow ? 

But, independently of considerations such as 
these, and on the hypothesis (which is yet con- 
trary to the truth) that unrestrained thought 
were always perfectly innocent, can we suppose 
that more real refreshment of mind is to be 
gathered from revolving matters of mere earthly 
and temporal concern, than from reflection upon 
the lively Oracles of the Living God ? Impos- 
sible 1 In the nature of things impossible ! 

to facilitate Thought, 69 

Remember what that Word is. Remember that 
in it is enshrined the Spirit of God and the Mind 
of Christ ; and that therefore, in bringing our 
minds into contact with the Word, we are really 
bringing them into contact with the Infinite 
Mind. Can such contact, even if it alaim occa- 
sionally, ultimately do otherwise than console, 
pacify, and tranquillize us ? It cannot but impart 
to us true peace in the root of our being, in the 
spring and source of our moral character ; and can 
such peace be other than the highest boon which 
man can enjoy ? 

We have spoken of the use to which hours of 
solitude, whether they be hours of recreation or 
sleepless hours of the night, may be turned. 

But ,can no suggestion be made on the subject 
of Meditation, in reference to the hours when we are 
in company ? It was said to the Israelites of the 
Law of Moses, and it is said by implication to the 
Christian of the whole revealed counsel of God : 
" These words which I command thee shall be in 
thine heart, and thou shalt teach them diligently 
unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou 
sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by 
the way, and when thou liest down, and when 
thou risest up." * 

We have seen how to sanctify solitude. Now 
we are to see how to sanctify company. Upon 

» Deut Tu 6, r. 

YO I^ractical Suggestions 

any topic whatever, it is surprising how conver- 
sation, the bringing our mind into contact with 
other minds, has a tendency to stimulate, quicken, 
and enlighten thought. Scarcely any more useful 
suggestion can be made for the disentanglement 
of a difficult and intricate subject, than conference 
with others, — ^I mean, of course, such confer- 
ence as is dictated by a simple desire of knowl- 
edge, and not by the love of ostentation and 

Let us then apply this principle, drawn from 
ordinary experience, to the understanding of God's 
Holy Word. Let us, at right seasons and with 
suitable persons, communicate our thoughts to 
others upon it, and listen to their suggestions in 
return. Discussion here, as on other subjects, 
cannot but stimulate thought. A casual remark, 
dropped in conversation, has often become the 
seed of a great thought, in the mind of one to 
whom it was made. And what more profitable 
subject than the Holy Scriptures can we, when in 
company with an intimate friend, discuss ? Un- 
bridled words, no less than unbridled thoughts, 
are apt to turn to subjects which were much 
better not discussed, and from which, at best, not 
the smallest benefit can arise either to the speaker 
or the listener. Such are the conduct and character 
of our neighbours, the little gossip and scandal 
(as mischievous as it is contemptible) of the cii-cle 
in which we move. There is a pathway for con- 

to facilitate Thought. 11 

versation to travel in, in which we may encounter 
the Lobd's own Presence, and carry away His 
Blessing. The two disciples talked of Him by the 
way as they walked to Emmaus ; and the blessed 
result was, that He accompanied their footsteps, 
and enlightened their minds by the interpretation 
of the Scriptures, and caused their hearts to burn 
within them. Shall we never show ourselves 
emulous of so high a Blessing ? Alas I how 
lamentably short does our practice fall of that 
standard of duty which God has revealed ! " Let 
the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all 
wisdom ; teaching and admonishing one another 
in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing 
with grace in your hearts to the Lord." * Who is 
there that, as a fact, does so speak ? Who is there 
among us that even sets before hini as an object 
of attainment (possible of attainment surely, or it 
would not be enjoined) a standard of Christian prac- 
tice so lofty and so saintly as this? 

Reader, — and especially those Readers for whose 
souls I am bound to watch, and to whom this 
Volume is in the first instance addressed, — I am 
anxious to press upon you, that however arduous 
the standard of duty to which God's Word calls 
us, that heart is not a true heart which wilfully 
acquiesces in a lower one ; that the reasoning is 
corrupt which says, " I will go thus far in religion, 

* Col. iii. 16. 

Y2 Practical Suggestions 

and allov it thus much influence over me, but the 
common path of common Christians, the common 
standard of devoutness and innocence of life is suffi- 
cient for me ; I aim at nothing loftier." 

N'ay, but does not this argue that spiritual life 
is not in thee ? For what is spiritual life but 
spiritual movement, spiritual progress, spiritual 
growth ? what is it but a daily waxing and ripen- 
ing towards the measure of the stature of the 
fulness of Christ ? Life is inconsistent (I do not 
say, God forbid 1 with any thing short of the high- 
est standard, but) with acquiescence in any thing 
short of the highest standard. And therefore, if 
you ask me whether I should be well contented if 
our little Society could be purged entirely from those 
outbreaks of positive vice which beset and humble 
(more or less) all Public Schools, I answer — No, I 
am not content, — ^Excelsior I 

K you ask me whether it is not enough that you 
should be amiable, obedient, and orderly boys, and 
should leave School without having imbibed any 
positive evil there, I answer — ^No, by no means 
enough, — ^Excelsior ! 

K you ask me whether a general decorousness of 
behaviour, and on the whole a general attentiveness 
to Christian Instruction, would not satisfy me ; would 
not be all that any one could expect or demand 
from you, I answer — ^No, by no means all, — ^Ex- 
celsior ! 

I wish you to be fully and deeply impressed 

to facilitate Thought, 73 

with the truth, that, except in a progressive 
sanctification, a sanctification whose very principle 
is, that it does not stop short at a certain point, 
there is no safety for man or boy ; that Time, and 
Opportunity, and Means, and Advantages, are 
slipping out of our hands every moment ; and that 
ere long, from each of us, the fruit of SaintUness 
will be required, at a Tribunal from which there 
is no appeal. We are nearing another stage 
in our prilgrimage, the High Festival of Easter. 
"When the invitation is issued, and the Holy Table 
spread for that Festival, will you be able to say 
that you are somewhat stronger, riper, more estab- 
lished, more enlightened, than on the first Sunday 
of our meeting together at the Sacred Board ? Con- 
sider seriously whether there is not some practice 
which you might adopt, which might in some meas- 
ure justify such a verdict. Consider whether daily 
meditation on Holy Scripture be not such a practice. 
And may the Lord stir up the hearts of His faithful 
people, that they, plenteously bringing forth the 
fruit of good works, may of Him be plenteously re- 
warded I 



JoHNxvii. lY. 

Sanotlflcatlon of Man'B Moral Nature the general design of Holy Scripture 
—The parts of Man's Moral Nature— The Affections— The Pmctical 
Reason— 'The ImaglDation, and its moral influence— Division of the Old 
Testament— how Proverbs and History fall under one class— reason why 
the moral of certain narratives is absent— Poetry of the Old Testament 
divided into Poetry of Aifections and Poetry of Imagination— Psalms 
the Poetry of the Affections— their practical use founded upon this view of 
them, and illustrated- position in the Liturgy consonant with their char- 
aoter— their use as a test of Religious Affections— How to use the Narra- 
tive and Proverbs so that one may illustrate the other-^Portability of 
Proverbs to the memory, and its bearing on our Sanctification — ^The 
Prophetical Writings an Inspired Epic— Definition of an Epic— Christ a 
Divine Hero, and the incidents of His Career— The Heroism of the passive 
Virtues— How the Levitical Law contains Poetry— provision made in it 
for the love of Symbolism— As the key needs a hand to apply it, so tho 
"Word, though adapted to our Sanctification, must be applied by tho Spirit 
of God— Conclusion. 

In our last Chapter we considered the general 
character of the Holy Scriptures. In this, we 
proceed to divide the Sacred Volume into its com- 

The Adaptation of the Old Testament^ <&c, 75 

ponent parts, and to consider the specific character 
which each part bears. 

One of the questions which the thoughtful reader 
of the Bible will ask himself, and which it is» impor- 
tant that he should be able to answer, is — ^What is 
the special design of this part of Holy Scripture, 
which I am now taking up ? He will make it a sub- 
ject of prayer to Almighty God, that that special 
design may be answered in his own case. 

The general design of Holy Scripture is given 
in the passage which stands at the head of this 
Chapter:— "Sanctify them through Thy Truth." 
Sanctification is the object of the entire Volume. 
He who reads the Bible without experiencing in 
his heart, or evincing in his life, any sanctifying 
influence ; he whose affections it never stirs, whose 
understanding it never enlightens, whose imagina- 
tion it never exalts, whose will it never directs, 
whose conscience it never reaches, may be quite 
sure that, from whatever cause, he does not read 

As the Scripture then is designed to operate upon 
the moral nature of Man, we shall probably find a 
correspondence in its parts to the parts of that moral 
nature. Thus our first inquiry must be. Of what 
parts does man's moral nature consist ? In other and 
simpler words, what are the springs of human char- 
acter and conduct ? 

The first of these is obviously the Affections. 
]\[en pursue certain objects and avoid others, 

76 Tlie Adaptation of the Old Testament 

because they love and hate, hope and fear, feel r& 
sentment or compassion. Love, hate, hope, fear, 
resentment, and compassion, are affections. 

The next is Reason; not the speculative Reason, 
not that by which we contemplate abstract Truth : 
but the practical Reason, for the exercise of which 
every-day life presents numerous occasions. Many 
persons act, from prudential considerations, against 
present inclination. In most instances, these pru- 
dential considerations are purely worldly. A man 
lays by money against the time of his old age or 
sickness, or as provision for his family, which 
he might spend upon present gratification. In 
some instances, the prudential considerations are 
heavenly and spiritual in their character. Thus 
we are told of Moses, that he esteemed the " re- 
proach of Christ greater riches than the treasures 
in Egypt, for he had respect unto the recompense 
of the reward," * To drop a moral phraseology 
and adopt a spiritual one, prudential considerations, 
when they fasten not on the world, or on the ordi- 
nary course of affairs, but on Eternity, and on God's 
Word and Providence, are, in one word, " Faith." 
And they are based, as all sound and healthy Faith 
is, upon Reason. 

The third moral faculty is the Imagination. 
The Imagination, no less than the Affections and 
the Reason, influences conduct. The knights 

* Heb. xi. 26. 

to the Moral Nature of Man. 1 7 

eiTant of the period of cMvahy are an illustration 
of this. Their ideal dream of love, honour, and 
enterprise, exerted a very real influence on their 
whole course of life; in short, gave its complexion 
to all their pursuits. And still, even in these 
degenerate, commercial, money-loving days, consid- 
erations of this kind, which I class under the head 
of romantic, have weight and influence with many. 
All the moral powers may be summed up under 
these three heads. 

Now let us consider whether, in the Holy Scrip- 
tures, there be not a tripartite division, correspond- 
ing to this. 

In the present Chapter we will deal solely with 
the Scriptures of the Old Testament. 

The Old Testament is an Inspired Volume, 
comprising a mass of History and a mass of Poetry ; 
and embracing, in addition to these, that which 
is neither History nor Poetry, the Book of 
Proverbs, with its attendant satellite, the Book of 

But though Proverbs are not History, there is a 
class under which both Proverbs and History will 
fell Both are records of human experience, the one 
in extenso, the other in summary. The Historian 
presents to you the naked example, and leaves you 
to gather the moral lessons for yourself We 
remarked in the last Chapter that the moral 
lessons to be gathered from the examples of 
Scripture are seldom or ever attached to the 

78 The Adaptation of the Old Testament 

examples : instead of this, the Old Testament has 
one great repository of Inspired Moral Maxims, 
called Proverbs, and to adapt these maxims to the 
several narratives, is the part left for Thought to 
do ; so that it is foolish to find a stumbling-block 
in the fact of these maxims being omitted in the 
History; (as when people say, how surprising 
that we are not told that God disapproved of 
Jacob's flagrant deceit, or of Judas's suicide !) the 
truth being that God designs us to draw these 
lessons for ourselves, intending not to supersede 
thought, but to stimulate it, by His Book. 

The Books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes then 
may be called, Divine Prudential considerations 
in the abstract; the narrative parts of the Old 
Testament bring to bear upon us the same pruden- 
tial considerations in the concrete^ that is, in the form 
of example. 

The Poetry of the Old Testament may be 
divided, like other Poetry, into the Poetry of the 
Affections and the Poetry of the Imagination. Of 
this latter class one species is the Symbolical. 

The Book of Psalms constitutes the Poetry of 
the Affections. Its attendant satellites (I mean 
Books of a similar character, and properly placed 
in the same class) are the Song of Solomon and 
the Lamentations of Jeremiah, with detached pas- 
sages here and there from the Prophets. 

The Poetry of the Imagination is to be found 
in the Prophetical Writings. They may be re- 

to the Moral Nature of Man. 19 

garded as Inspired Epics, whose theme is the 
Advent and Triumph of a great Deliverer, whose 
Glories, one after another, burst upon the eye of 
the Prophet through the haze which envelopes the 

The Poetry of Symbols is to be found in the 
Ceremonial Branch of the Mosaic Law, and in the 
various arrangements of the Jewish Ritual. 

We have then, I. Corresponding to the Human 
Affections, and specially adapted for their sanctifi* 
cation, the Book of Psalms, with the Song of Songs. 
n. Corresponding to the Reason, the Narrative 
Books, with Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. III. Cor- 
responding to the Imagination, the Prophetical 
Books and the Ceremonial Law. A few words on 
each of these : 

I. The Psalms, as they give expression to, so they 
have a natural tendency to rouse, kindle, and ani- 
mate the Religious Affections of men. 

As every hue of the setting sun is reflected in 
the mirror of a glassy lake, so in the Psalms is 
reflected every phase of spiritual feeling, from the 
deepest humiliation under a sense of sin, to the 
most triumphant rejoicing iu the conquest of 
Sin and Death by a crucified and risen Messiah. 
Hope, fear, tVust, soitow, love of God, and hatred 
of evil, the plaintive mourning of the dove, the 
roar of inner disquietude, the voice of joy and 
praise, alternate in these Holy Songs, and furnish 
expressions and stimulants for every mood of mind. 

80 The Adaptation of the Old Testament 

It should be borne in mind then, while reading 
the Book of Psalms, that this is their main char- 
acter. The edification chiefly sought in them 
should be that species of edification which is in 
conformity with their capital design. Resort to 
them, that you may hear in them the Voice of God 
the Comforter, when the ajQfections are stirred, 
whether by the mere operation of natural spirits, 
or by circumstances, which, without, perhaps, 
being of much importance, yet touch you to the 
quick, either with joy or sorrow. Is it a bright 
day with us? Have many of those gleams of 
happiness glanced across our path, which are be- 
stowed so abundantly when the heyday of youth 
is over, in the track of domestic life? Then, 
Benedic, anima mea (I like those old Latin head- 
ings in the Prayer Book Version; there is a 
rugged grandeur about them) — "Praise the Lord, 
O my soul : and all that is within me, praise His 
Holy Name." See thou get it sung in that hour, 
not with the lips merely or mainly, or with arti- 
ficial apparatus of music, but making melody in 
• thy heart" to the Lord; that melody of the devout 
affections, which, in His ear, who listens to the 
breathings of the heart, is more full of harmony 
than the merry lute and the hai-p. 

Do apprehensions occupy thee respecting the 
future results of manly, Christian, and consistent 
conduct? Apprehensions stretching into that 
unseen to-morrow, when, for aught we know, the 

to the Moral JSTature of Man. 81 

framework of N"ature may have collapsed, every 
thing of secular interest may have passed away, 
and we may be standing each one of us, in fearfully 
distinct individuality, before the Throne of the 
Judge ? Then these apprehensions argue a want of 
Faith. Turn to the Psalms, and they shall at once 
reprove and comfort thee. " He will not be afraid 
of any evil tidings : for his heart standeth fast, and 
believeth in the Lord. His heart is established, and 
will not shrink : until he see his desire upon his en- 
emies." * 

Have slanderous tongues been busy with our 
names ? have we, or our actions, been made the 
subject of defamatory gossip, our intentions mis- 
represented, or a wrong construction put upon 
our conduct ? I know not that it can hurt us : I 
am sure it cannot hurt us, if we do but turn to 
our Psalter, and seek to realise the comfort which 
those words hold out : " O how plentiful is Thy 
goodness which Thou hast laid up for them that 
fear Thee I and that Thou hast prepared for them 
that put their trust in Thee, even before the sons of 
men. Thou shalt hide them privily by Thine own 
presence from the provoking of all men ; Thou shalt 
keep them secretly in Thy Tabernacle from the strife 
of tongues." \ 

Finally, has the soul come to its lowest ebb of 

♦ Ps. cxii. 7. Prayer Book Version. 
+ Ps. xxxi. 21. Prayer Book Version. 

82 The Adaptation of the Old TeBtament 

hope and comfort ? Are there fightings without and 
fears within ? Then this extremity is God's oppor- 
tunity : He Himself presents US' with an utterance 
appropriate to it, and will surely give ear to the cry 
which He has put into our mouth : "Out of the deep 
have I called unto Thee, O Lord ! Lord, hear my 
voice." * 

That one main use of the Psalms is the scope 
for utterance which they afford to Christian Affec- 
tions, may be gathered from the position which 
they occupy in the Liturgy. Here Psalms and 
Lessons, although embraced in the same Lispired 
Volume, are carefully discriminated as things of a 
different order. The Psalms are never read to us, 
as if they were didactic pieces addressed to the 
understanding (full of instruction of course they are, 
but instruction is not their main purport) ; they are 
read hy us, and designed to be appropriated by us 
as the utterance before God of our soul's deep de- 
sires and needs. 

Li the closet, another practical use may be 
made of them. They may serve not only as a 
vehicle for religious Affections, but also as a test 
how far our affections are religious. They may 
be made a medium of self-examination, — a prac- 
tice which ensures thought upon them, and which, 
if blessed and aided by God, is sure to be attended 
with the happiest results. How far am I truly 

* Ps. czxz. 1. Prayer Book Version. ' 

to the Moral Nature of Man. 83 

repentant ? Let me read the fifty-first Psalm, 
and consider how far my mind, on the sub- 
ject of sin, goes along with, and enters into, 
the expressions of the Psalmist. How far do I 
love God's precepts, and realise the delightful- 
ness of minute and conscientious obedience ? The 
hundred and nineteenth Psalm furnishes abun- 
dance of tests. "I love Thy commandments 
above gold and precious stone. — ^The law of Thy 
mouth is dearer unto me than thousands of gold 
and silver. — ^Lord, what love have I unto Thy 
law ! all the day long is my study in it. — ^I have 
applied my heart to fulfil Thy statutes alway, even 
unto the end." * How far do I regard communion 
with God as a privilege, no less than as a duty ? 
The question may be answered by turning to the 
eighty-fourth Psalm, and considering whether we 
can sincerely take up into our lips those expressions 
of devout aspiration : " O how amiable are Thy 
dwellings, Thou Loed of Hosts 1 My soul hath 
a desire and longing to enter into the courts of the 
Lord : my heart and my flesh rejoice in the Living 

2. The narrative Books of the Old Testament, 
with the Book of Proverbs, are strictly lessons — 
didactic pieces addressed to the understanding ; 
and when we read them, this should be borne in 
mind. The question upon which, in this instance, 

* Pfl. cxix. 127, 72, 97, 112. Prayer Book Version. 
+ Pfl. IzzziT. 1, 2. Prayer Book Version. 

84 Tlie Adaptation of the Old Testament 

Thought is to operate, is : What lesson for my 
daily guidance may be gathered from this ex- 
ample ? To what piece of human experience, 
recorded in the Book of God, or drawn from my 
study of life, is this aphorism applicable ? In- 
deed, it would be a profitable task, and one which 
would ensure reflection, to consider, in reading 
the Inspired Narratives, what Sacred Proverbs 
might be appended to them, and vice versdy in 
reading the Proverbs, to what narratives they 
might be attached as mottoes. Thus, the Proverb 
evidently applicable to the narrative of St. Peter's 
denial, when in the ardour of mere natural enthu- 
siasm he first boasted, " Lord, I am ready to go with 
Thee both into prison and to death,"* and yet after- 
wards failed when the trial came ; — ^the Proverb, I 
say, which sums up the great lessons of this narra- 
tive, and presents them to us in a concise form, is 
obviously this, "He that trusteth in his own heart 
is a fool." f 

I should notice, also, the portability of the 
Proverbs to the memory, a result which follows 
from their conciseness, and from the exact form 
of parallelism into which most of them are cast. 
Memory is a faculty of the understanding, and 
exerts a great influence on our moral state. 
What a fast hold upon us, through the memory, 
has any unclean story or allusion I It is necessary, 

* Luke xxii. 83, t Pror. xxyiii. 26. 

to the Moral JSTature of Man. 85 

then, that the memory should be sanctified by the 
Word of God ; and this is done by treasuring up in 
the mind the aphorisms of Inspired Wisdom, and 
bringing them forth, as occasion serves, thereby to 
combat the maxims of the world, and the sugges- 
tions of the Evil One. 

3. One or two word? must suffice upon the 
Imagination, and the fitness of the Prophetical 
and Symbolical parts of Scripture to sanctify 

God has not left unprovided with a field in which 
it may expatiate, the young and ardent Imag- 
ination. There is, m the Prophets, a Poetry which 
soars infinitely above the sublimest conceptions of 
heroism, and which, unlike those dreams of love, 
and enterprise, and chivalry, which contact with real 
life is sure to dissipate, either has been, or will be, 
certainly realised. 

I must beware of bringing down my subject to 
the level of common matters, but I really know not 
how better to describe the general character of the 
Prophetical Writings than by calling them an In- 
spired Epic Poem. 

I look out Epic Poem in the Dictionary, and 
I find these words : " An Epic Poem, otherwise 
called heroic, is a poem which narrates a story, 
real^ or fictitious, or both, representing, in an 
elevated style, some signal action or actions, 
usuaUy the achievements of some distinguished hero, 
and intended to form the morals and afiTect the 

86 The Adaptation of the Old Testament 

mind witli the love of virtue," Now the whole 
of Prophecy gathers round Christ as its centre. 
The Second Adam, the true Hero, the rightful 
Claimant of the Sovereignty of the Earth, is the 
Song of all the Prophets " which have been since 
the world began." The incidents of the mighty 
Epic are the incidents of His career. His humble 
birth at Bethlehem, His unmitigated and pro- 
found sorrows, His betrayal by one in whom 
He had reposed the most affectionate trust, His 
triumphant entry into that which was by rightful 
descent His own Metropolis, and the Metropolis 
of the whole Earth, His miracles of mercy and 
of grace, the detestable sale of His sacred Person 
into the hands of His enemies, His cruel humilia- 
tion and death, and the final lifting up of His 
Head after He had drunk of the brook in the 
way. His elevation, triumph, and the glorious 
subjection of all things under His feet. One 
capital point of distinction between the Profane 
and the Inspired Epic is carefully to be noted. 
The heroes of the Profane Epic are heroes of 
activity. . They dare, and do, and conquer ; the 
active virtues shine prominent in them ; every 
enterprise is one of dazzling brilliancy, like the 
hue of the marigold or the sunflower. Where 
shall we find the suffering Heroism that endures 
all things out of Love, the humble Heroism 
which shrinks from sight like the violet, but 
when discovered, has more fragrance and more 

to the Moral fixture of Man, 87 

delicacy of hue than all the gaudy flowers which 
flaunt so unblushingly in the summer noon? 
Where but in that Holy One, Who, as being 
descended from the Woman, manifested most 
signally those passive graces which are the 
ornament of woman's character, and made those 
graces a medium for reflecting the glories and 
perfections of His Eternal Godhead; Who drew 
Himself away to the mountain, after His most 
signal acts of benevolence and grace, lest the 
people should come and place upon His brows 
the diadem of which He was bom the heir ? 
Reader, learn and deeply weigh the truth, that 
the Heroism of suffering and humility has far 
more grandeur and sublimity in it than the 
heroism of enterprise and lofty position. If God 
should Itretch you all the days of your life upon a 
sick-bed, so that nothing you say or do should ever 
come abroad or transpire beyond the immediate 
circle of the kind friends who take turns to sit be- 
side you and read and pray, you may be a truer 
hero there, may manifest a healthier courage and a 
more unshaken constancy, and a principle of action 
more chivabous and sublime, than if you were now 
to head an army against the Autocrat of all 
the Russias, and to shed your heart's best blood 
in establishing and vindicating the liberties of 

The Levitical Law is the only portion of the 
Scriptures of the Old Testament which remains 

88 The Adaptation of the Old Testament 

to be considered. And let it not be deemed 
strange that we rank it in the Poetical Depart- 
ment of the Volume. In its circumstantials^ we 
readily admit that it is not Poetry. It has 
none of the accessories of Poetry, neither the 
style, nor the metre, nor the rhythmical struc- 
ture, which ordinarily distinguish that species of 
Literature. But we may have the essentials of 
Poetry without its accidentals. To present grand 
and elevating imagery to the eye of the mind, 
by whatever means that effect is brought about, 
is truly tlie work of a Poet. Poetry is the Art 
which corresponds to the natural Faculty of the 
Imagination. And the great Field of the Imagi- 
nation is the discernment of resemblances be- 
tween different departments of the works of Gob. 
Now what resemblances can be more worthy of 
study, what can present a more interesting 
sphere in which the Imagination may expatiate, 
than those which God Himself has established 
between Shadow and Substance, Type and Anti- 
type, Figure and Reality? Some persons, it is 
evident, have a love of Symbolism; from their 
peculiar cast of mind they turn with delight to 
any representation of Divine Verities through 
the medium of things sensible and material. 
NTow provision has been made in the Book of God 
for the gratification of this, as well as of all 
other intellectual tastes. God spake forth in 
Symbols the great events of His Gospel, long 

to tJie Moral Nature of Man. 89 

before those events were enacted on the Theatre 
of the World. Ih the cleansing of the leper, in 
the loosing of the scapegoat, He pictured forth 
the method of our Redemption from Sin. In a 
thousand different figures (all comprising many- 
details, and requiring minute study for their full 
comprehension) He represented different aspects 
of Him, Who is our Hope and Refuge, and 
different phases of His all-sufficient Work. Let 
the mind which has a tendency to Symbolism, 
betake itself to this Divine provision for its needs. 
Let it contemplate Christ in the Types, and 
acquire there the various particulars of the Grace 
and Mercy which is in Him. The minutiae of 
the Ceremonial Law present abundant scope for 
such study ; and even if we must add to our 
remarks on this head a warning against fanci- 
fulness and fanciful interpretations, surely Fancy, 
even where it goes .wrong, might be employed 
in a less profitable and edifying manner than in 
studying resemblances, to which God Himself has 
called the attention of His people. 

We have seen that the Scriptures of the Old 
Testament are a key, fitted and fashioned by 
God's own hand for the sanctification of His 
people ; that they correspond wonderfully to that 
Moral Nature which they are designed to in- 
fluence. Yes, they are a key. But everr a key 
will not open the lock to which it is adapted, 
without an external power to apply it. There 

90 The Adaptation of the Old Testament^ d)c, 

must be a hand to employ the key, or, despite of its 
admirable contrivance, it must be useless. 

Similarly, the Holy Scriptures, unless enforced 
by God's own Power, will fail to exercise that 
influence upon our moral nature, which they are 
adapted to put forth. God's Hand must second 
His "Word, if His Word is to be influential. It is 
through the Truth (that is, through the instru- 
mentality of the Truth) that we are sanctified ; the 
agency must be that of the Spirit. 

To Him, the Light, the Life, and the Comforter 
of His Church, together with the Father who loved 
us, and the Son who washed us from our sins in 
His own Blood, be glory in the Church throughout 
all ages, world without end. Amen. 



JoHNxvii. 17. 

God's "Word the instrument of Human Sanctification— -It must necessarily be 
adapted to its end—Threefold dlyision of the Books of the New Testa- 
ment—Corresponding threefold division of the Moral Faculties— Affec- 
tions attach universally to Human Nature under all circumstances— Why 
the renewal of Human Nature must commence with the Affections, and 
not with the Beason- Necessary Bequirements in an object destined to 
engage the Affections and elevate the Character^It must be a Person — 
"Why not a merely human Person ?— The requirements ftilfilled In 
CHRIST as the object of "Worship and Trust— The presentation of 
CHEIST in the Gospel Narratives, adapted to attract the affections of the 
Heart— The Gospel successful with the affections, even where the under- 
standing is but little enlightened— The Primacy of the Gospels in the 
Canon of the New Testament, with the grounds of it— How this Primacy 
is expressed in our Ritual— Conclusion. 

The ordinary meaning of the word " to sanctify " 
IS "to make holy." In praying for His people, 
that they might be sanctified through the Truth, 
our Lord implies that the Truth is one of the 

92 The Adaptation of the Gospels 

instruments or means "which God employs in making 
us holy. And in the latter part of the text it is 
declared what this Truth is. The Word of God is 
Truth : and the form in which the Word of God has 
reached us is,' of course, the written Volume of the 

The absolute necessity then of studying the 
Scriptures, in order to the attainment of that 
holiness which is essential to happiness, is the 
first lesson which we gather from the words 
which stand at the head of this Chapter. If 
God's Word be one great means, whereby He 
makes men holy, how absolutely necessary is it, 
that* the mind should continually come into con- 
tact with the Word, so as to derive through the 
appointed channel* a sanctifying influence I How 
can we expect, if we either neglect the study of 
the Bible, or study it superficially, without be- 
stowing a thought upon it, and applying it to 
ourselves, — ^how can we expect to grow in grace, 
wisdom, and goodness ? Let us stedfastly adhere 
to the practice of reflecting daily upon some small 
portion of it (be it only two or three verses), and 
earnestly praying that God's Holy Spiiit would ap- 
ply it to our conscience, and make it effectual to the 
great end of our sanctification. 

But the instruments which God employs are, we 
may be sure, adapted, with exquisite wisdom, to 
the ends which they are designed to fulfil. In the 
realm of Nature we see many such adaptations of 

to the Sanctification of the Human Affections, 93 

the instrument to its end (the hand of man, for ex- 
ample, bears evident marks of being designed for 
those particular services, which in the course of 
daily life it has to fulfil), and shall we not suppose 
such adaptations to exist in the realm of Grace ? 
Even Human Art makes the key correspond to the 
wards of the lock which it has to open ; and shall 
we imagine that God would employ, in the highest 
of all matters, au instrument which is not suitable 
to its purpose ? 

The Bible, then, must be adapted to the purpose 
of human Sanctification, and in all probability, if 
we reflect upon the nature of its contents, we shall 
discover some points of this adaptation. We have 
already made this discovery in the various parts of 
the Old Testament. We now turn to that part of 
the Scriptures, with which, as Christians, we ought 
to be most familiar, the Books of the New Testa- 
ment. These Books easily and naturally divide 
themselves into three classes, to each of which we 
will devote a single Chapter. 

I. There are the Historical Books, called Gos* 
pels, with which may be classed as an Appendix, 
the Acts of the Apostles. These contain the facts 
and events, which are the Basis of the Scheme of 
Redemption. H. There are the Doctrinal Books, 
called Epistles. These explain, so far as it is 
susceptible of explanation, the Philosophy of the 
Scheme of Redemption. HL Lastly, there is the 
Book of Revelation, which, although it has other 

94 The Adaptation of the Gospels 

and even more important bearings, may be said, 
I think, to comprise the Poetry of the glorious 

Corresponding to these three divisions of the l^ew 
Testament, we find three distinct parts, powers, or 
principles of Human Nature, the Affections, the 
Understanding, and the Imagination. It will be 
my business to point out how the N'ew Testament, 
in one or other of its departments, is exactly adapt- 
ed to sanctify, refine, and purify one or other of 
these principles. 

The Affections are a principle attaching uni- 
versally to our nature, under every • circumstance 
in which man finds himself placed. The rude and 
barbarous Caffre hopes and fears, loves and hates, 
is accessible to the emotions of compassion and 
gratitude, no less than the polished European, 
who is humanized by the courtesies of civil society ; 
and if through the ignorance and barbarism of 
the one, and the education and refinement of the 
other, we could dig into the inner man, throwing 
off the incrustations which habit and circumstances 
have formed, and diving to the root of the char- 
acter, there, in the dark abyss of the mine, w6 
should find the same ore of the Affections, capable 
of being fashioned into a vessel either of honour or 

Now, seeing that the Affections of Man are the 
moving springs of his will and character, the 
renewal and sanctification of Human Nature must 

to the Sanctification of the Human Affections, 95 

pommence with tbem. The heart which is alienated 
from God and goodness, must be turned towards 
God and goodness, as the first step in the process 
of renewal. Systems of heathen moral philosophy- 
were in error here ; they did not propose to carry 
the remedy, in the first instance, to the root of the 
evil, to the seat of the disease. Their principle 
was to throw light into the intellect, by way of 
reforming the heart, — to convince men of the 
propriety and expediency of a virtuous life, in 
order that they might persuade to a virtuous life. 
The Understanding, however, is at fault, because 
the Affections are at fault. Man by nature loves 
his sin, and this partially affects and prejudices 
his understanding. How shall his case be rem- 
edied ? Clearly the first step is to give a right 
bias to the Affections. If these can be strongly 
engaged in behalf of a new and good object, they 
will thus be drawn off from the fiivolous and wrong 
objects on which they formerly fastened : for twp 
strong interests cannot exist simultaneously in the 
human heart ; no sooner does a new interest ^in 
the ascendency than the old one wanes. 

Moreover, this object, if it is to be influential 
with the great mass of mankind, must he a Person. 
Devoted adherents of a principle, or a class of 
opinions, do indeed exist, but they are rare spirits, 
and few have sympathy with them. Creeds, and 
principles, and doctiines, are but imsubstantial 
things, abstracted from a Person round whom 

96 The Adaptation of the Gospels 

they revolve, and in whom they are embodied. 
Man cannot love abstractions : living realities are 
alone competent to develop and engage his affec- 

But where shall we find a living reality adapted 
to the purpose ? Our fellow-creatures are all of 
them imperfect objects, themselves so full of failure, 
weakness, and guilt, that a too intense affection 
conceived for them, a too intense confidence 
reposed in them, instead of elevating our natui-e, 
would run the hazard of debasing it. Nay, even 
supposing that a perfect object could be found 
among our fellow-creatures, to place implicit trust 
in a mere creature, however holy, to yield to any 
one but the Creator the entire homage of the soul, 
this were the essence of idolatry. Yet, on the 
other hand, God, in the absolute perfection of His 
Nature, is not an object level to our apprehensions 
or our sympathies. 

In short, if the Affections of man are to be 
elevated and refined, and cleansed from the dross 
of earthliness whicn cleaves to them, there needs 
to be presented to them, as that whereon they 
may fasten, a faultless Object ; an Object which 
we can apprehend and sympathize with, and yet, at 
the same time (if this Object is to engage all the 
homage of the heart), it must be none other than 
the Eternal God. 

How exactly such an Object is presented to 
us in the Gospels, we can have no difficulty in 

to the Sarictification of the JSuman AffectioTis, 97 

perceiving. These Inspired Histories do not, 
except incidentally and subordinately, instruct 
US in doctrines ; they present to our mind's eye 
a Person ; One who exhibited (while on earth), 
in harmonious combination, all the graces of 
human character, yea, rather I should " say, all 
the Perfections of the Godhead, mirrored in the 
crystal glass of a sinless Humanity — "an High 
Priest, who can be touched .with the feeling of 
our infirmities, because He was in all points 
tempted like as we are, ye£ without sin," — and 
yet One, in whom the heart may gamer up its 
entire store of hope, and trust, and love, without 
hazard of Idolatry, inasmuch as in virtue of His 
Divine Nature, He is Goi) over all, blessed 
FOB EVER. The great moral object of the Gospels 
is answered, if the affections of the heart be 
engaged with this Object, in such a manner as 
to influence the will, and through the will, the 
conduct. If by these inimitable portraitures of 
His earthly career, a man be drawn towards the 
risen Saviour in the bonds of affiance, trust, and 
love ; so drawn as to cultivate a heavenly friend- - 
ship with Christ in the way which He Himself 
has appointed, by " keeping His commandments ; " 
so drawn as to find in spiritual Communion with 
Christ a solace and refreshment, which he seeks 
in vain elsewhere ; so drawn as for the love of 
Jesus to bear with the infirmities of Jesus's 
members, and to submit himself in meekness to 

98 Tlie Adaptation of the Gospels 

the Cross which Jesus lays upon him ; then have the 
Gospels fulfilled towards that man their great spir- 
itual purpose, and he is sanctified through the Truth 
of God, brought to bear, in an eflScient and practical 
manner, upon his Affections. 

And may we not have good hope that the 
Gospel ISTarratives do thus take eiffect in many 
cases, where the Understanding and the Imagi- 
nation are not sufficiently developed to appre- 
ciate the more difficult teachings of the Epistles 
and Apocalypse ? We believe that many a poor 
ignorant soul, to whom the doctrine of Justi- 
fication by Faith, as stated in terms, would be 
a mere formula, — a string of unintelMgible words, 
— ^yet really possesses Justification, because he 
possesses a real affiance in that Saviour, whose 
Merits, applied through faith, justify. Yea, may 
we not feel a comfortable assurance (I say this 
the more readily, because, while I am desirous 
to protest against Popery as a deadly heresy, I 
feel that there is a great danger lest, in our zeal 
for Truth, we lose sight of Love) that in the 
• Romish Communion, where this precious and 
cardinal doctrine is explicitly denied, and where 
the theory of a sinner's acceptance with God, as 
taught by Divines, is radically erroneous — ^that 
even here many thousand poor souls, whose 
understanding is a blank on the all-important 
question, " What must I do to be saved ? " hare 
their Affections really engaged with that Divine 

to the Sanctification of the Human Affections, 99 

Person, whose sufferings in their behalf are 
pourtrayed to the eye of the body through their 
Crucifixes, repose upon Him with implicit confidence, 
pray to Him with sincere fervour, and follow Him, 
to the best of their knowledge, in the path of self- 
devotedness and obedience ? 

Let us learn then, from what has been said, to 
assign to the Gospels their due honour. The 
Gospels 'stand first in the Canon of the New 
Testament, and this priority I regard as a kind 
of symbol, expressive of the important truth, 
that God's Scheme for renewing mankind and 
making them holy is not (at least fundamentally) 
a Philosophy which appeals to their Reason, nor 
a strain of Poetry which brings to bear upon 
them the power of Imagination, but rather an 
appeal by facts to those Affections^ — ^those sen- 
timents of Love,' Fear, Hope, Desire, Gratitude, 
— which attach to man under all circumstances 
ancl climates, and are universally influential with 
him, whatever be his state of culture and civili- 
zation. In the theory, then, of Human Sa^icti- 
fication, the Gospels, which present to us a 
Person, and appeal to the Affections, occupy a 
higher position than the Epistles, which present 
to us doctrinal statements, and appeal to the 
Understanding. Some invert this order of regard, 
and speak as if they virtually limited the Canon 
of the New Testament to the Epistles, especially 

100 The Adaptoaion of the Gospels 

those of St. PauL This is a sad error. To set 
the Epistles above the Gospels, is to set Light 
above Love. And, possibly, our Reformers may 
have intended to protest against such notions, 
and to indicate a certain superior regard, due to 
the Evangelical Narratives^ when they left stand- 
ing in the Communion Office an ord^r which came 
down from the Primitive Times, that the people, 
who are seated previously, should stand iip while 
the Priest reads the Gospel 

In conclusion, it will be well to ask ourselves 
whether the groundwork of Christianity has 
been ever yet laid in our hearts ? Are our affec- 
tions engaged with Christ, as his so eminently 
were, who gave to this our School all that it 
has to boast of excellence and efficiency ? The 
great beauty of Dr. Arnold's religious character, 
— ^a beauty, which those who differ from him 
widely in sentiment, may yet be fully able to 
appreciate, — was that his heart was ever true to 
his Saviour as the needle to the pole. Is it so 
with us ? The Gospels are designed and adapted 

to conciliate our affections to Christ. But those 


affections cannot be so conciliated, unless Christ 
Himself should by His Spirit draw us to Himself 
The perusal of the appointed daily passage will 
be but a formal routine, except that Spirit enforce 
it on the conscience, and bring it home to the 
heart. Be thou then. Lord, the Agent in our 

to the Sanctijlcation of the Human Affections. 101 

Sanctification ! Draw us to Thyself, when we 
read Thy Gospel, with the bonds of affiance, and 
gratitude, and love ! And help us evermore to fol- 
low Thee, with the prayer of Faith, in the path of 
obedience and self-denial ! 



John xvii lY. 

The Divisions of the New Testament and of the Moral Faculties of man 
recapitnlated— The Epistles contain the Philosophy of the Gospel 
tidings— Possibility of appreciating the Philosophy and Poetry of the 
Scheme of Bedemption, withont any emotion of the heart— Light 
•withont Love— The existence of a profound Wisdom in the Scheme 
of Bedemption, argned from Scripture— and from Eeason— Men dwell 
little upon this Wisdom, though alive to Wisdom In its other mani- 
festations—The common want of appreciation of this Wisdom has Its 
root In Pride— Several points enumerated. In which the Epistles unfold 
the Philosophy of the Scheme of Bedemption— Entirely to follow this 
Philosophy Is out of our power, and why— The revealed method of 
growing in the knowledge of Divine Truth, is to embody in our practice 
that knowledge to which we have attained. 

This text (as we saw in our last Chapter) im- 
plies that the Truth of God is one great means 
which He employs in making Man holy. Now the 
Bible is the Truth of God ; and that part of the 

TJie Adaptation of the Epistles^ &c 103 

Bible with wHch, as Christians, we are most 
concerned — ^the Volume of the New Testament — 
may be divided, as we have already observed, 
i2to three parts, — ^the Gospels, with their Ap- 
pendix, the Acts, — ^the Epistles, — and the Book 
of the Revelation. Corresponding to this three- 
fold division of the New Testament, we observed 
a threefold division of man's Moral Nature, 
which consists of the Affections, the Understand- 
ing, and the Imagination. We then proposed to 
consider how the Gospels are adapted to purify 
the Affections, the Epistles to enlighten the 
Understanding, the Revelation to refine the Imag- 
ination of man; and the first of thesQ. points 
was sufficiently discussed. We saw that the 
Gospels present to the Affections of man a Diviile 
and yet a Human Person ; One Who, because 
He is human, is level to our apprehensions and 
sympathies, and yet towards Whom, because 
Divine, the heart may pour forth its utmost store 
of love and trust and devotion, without fear of 

The Gospels stand naturally first in the Canon 
of the New Testament; for the historical facts 
recorded in them are the good tidings, the 
Basis which the other New Testament Writers as- 
sume, and upon which they build. Then, next 
upon the Tidings themselves, follows the Phi- 
losophy of the Tidings, unfolded in the Epistles, 
and the Poetry of the Tidings, which is sung (in 

104 The Adaptation of the H^istlea to the 

stiains how sublime and stirring!) by the exiled 
Seer in Patmos. 

And let me warn you, Reader, before pro- 
ceeding to explain how the Epistles are adapted 
to enlighten the Understanding of Man, that it 
is very possible for the mind of an educated 
person to appreciate, in some measure, both the 
Philosophy and the Poetry of the Scheme of 
Redemption, whose heart has never been touched, 
in the slightest degree, by the Good Tidings of 
the Gospels. Such a person may possess a con- 
siderable insight into the principles of God's 
dealings with His creatures, and yet tins shall 
not be inconsistent with such a coldness and 
indifference to the claim of Christianity upon 
the Affections, with such a want of interest in 
the tale of Jesu's Love and Jesu's Suffering, as 
shall conclusively argue that the Gospel, however 
much light it may have poured into the Under- 
standing, however much it may have refined the 
Imagination, has never penetrated with healing, 
sanctifying influence to the seat of the character. 
We observed in the last Chapter, that the love 
of Christ may exist in the heart, where there is 
bufr a scanty measure of light on the subject of 
Christian doctrine. And conversely. Light may 
exist without Love. Yes, Light may exist; but 
it is like the cold silver lustre which, at midnight, 
streams down from the moon, streaking the 
dark water with a luminous line, and frosting 

Sanctijlcation of the Human Understanding, 105 

the stone pinnacles and buttresses of the Cathedral, 
then wrapped in a tranced sleep, — a beautiful but 
mrfructifying ray, destitute of genial warmth, 
whose shining men contemplate with admiration, 
but ply not under it their daily tasks. Even so 
the Hght which the Bible sheds upon the Under- 
standing, and the influence which it exercises on 
the Imagination, may adorn and gild the surfece 
of the character, without sanctifying, or even 
touching, its hidden springs; without giving it 
any power to grapple with Life, as it presents to 
us its varied forms of temptation, trouble, and 

But let us proceed to the immediate business of 
the present Chapter. 

And first, I would call your attention to the 
fact, that in the Scheme of Redemption tJiere is 
a profound Wisdom. Although the Gospel of 
Christ be not (fundamentally) a Philosophy, yet 
there is a Philosophy of the Gospel ; a Philosophy, 
whose depths are unfathomable by Human Reason. 
This is not unfrequently asserted in express 
terms. Take for example the words of St. Paul, 
"In Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom 
and knowledge."* The marginal reading, ^^wJiere- 
in are hid," .&c., refers us back to the preceding 
words, " the mystery of God, and of the Father, 
and of Christ;" in which mystery these treasures 
of wisdom and knowledge are said to be hid. 

• CoLii. 8. 

106 ITie Adaptation of the JE^istles to the 

And again, "We speak wisdom among them that 
are perfect, the wisdom of God ia a mystery, even 
the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the 
world unto our glory." * 

And Reason echoes back the same truth as 
Revelation. For is it reasonable to suppose that 
the infinitely Wise God could have devised other 
than an infinitely wise scheme for the Redemption of 
His creatures ? 

But I believe the Wisdom of the Scheme of 
Redemption, as distinct from its Grace, however 
apparent and obvious it be, is but very little 
thought of. Our thoughts instinctively connect 
Love and Mercy with the Gospel Scheme; they 
dwell comparatively little on the Wisdom dis- 
played in it. We look for Wisdom in the realm 
of Nature ; we often read and think of the exqui- 
site skill with which the structure of animals is 
adapted to the element in which they live, and 
the ftmctions which they have to fulfil. We look 
for Wisdom in the devices of the artificer, and the 
works of human authors. But those things which 
Angels desire to look into, that Scheme for the 
salvation and sanctification of Man, in which the 
highest order of created intelligences find matter 
for adoring contemplation; this the wise man 
after the flesh often turns away from, with an 
utter lack of interest, as if there were here no 
scope for the exercise of the IJnderstanding. 

♦ 1 Cor. ii. 6, 7. 

Satictijication of the JBkmayi Understanding, 107 

Amazing perverseness ! which Angelic Beings, 
could scorn find place in their bosoms, would 
contemplate with some of that contemptuous pity 
which we bestow upon a little child, when, im- 
patient of some sweet harmony that ravishes the 
ear, of some glowing harangue which captivates 
the mind of its elders, it turns away to amuse itself 
with the jingling of its toys, and the prattle of its 

The absurdity of man's backwardness to ponder 
and study the Wisdom of God, as exhibited in 
the Scheme of Redemption, is enhanced by the 
fact that this strange reluctance is partially 
founded in pride. There is a barrier beyond 
which the creature's shallow capacity cannot 
penetrate, when studying the procedures of Divine 
Grace. Some truths refuse to be reconciled 
even by our subtlest logic; some are only appre- 
hensible up to a certain point, where we lose sight 
of them, and they soar above our heads into the 
clouds of mystery. This barrier chafes and frets 
the pride of the human intellect. Man is for 
encroaching with his vain speculations on every 
ground where Angels fear to tread, and loves not to 
have it said to a reason, whose reaches he vainly im- 
agines to be infinite, " Hitherto shalt thou come, and 
no further." No sooner does he find that impassable 
limits are set to further research, than, with Naaman, 
he turns and goes away in a rage. 

But let me now point out how the Epistles, or 

108 The Adaptation of the Epistles to the 

Doctrinal Writings, of the Apostles, anfold the 
Wisdom or Philosophy of the Scheme of Re- 
demption, The Gospel Narratives record the 
Great Event on which the entire Scheme hinges — 
the Death of Christ, The Epistles point out the 
significance of His Death as a Propitiatory Sacri- 
fice. They explain the reason and necessity of 
His Death, as that which alone could enable God, 
consistently with His attributes of Justice, Holi- 
ness, and Truth, to save the sinner. They illus- 
trate the nature of the faith which justifies, by 
referring to examples recorded in the Old Testa- 
ment Scripture (examples which show clearly that 
it is a practical principle, lying at the root of all 
right dispositions towards God), — and thus assign 
the reason why so much stress should be laid upon 
Faith, in the matter of man's salvation. They 
explain the theory of imputed sin and imputed 
righteousness, teaching us that men are regarded 
by God, not merely as individuals, but in their 
corporate capacity also, — ^thd,t all belong to one of 
the two great Families, of which Adam and Christ 
respectively are Covenant Heads and Representa- 
tives. They explain also the relation of the Law 
to the Gospel, and teach us that the Elder Dis- 
pensation was a rudimentary discipline, by means 
of which those who were under it were trained for 
the understanding and appreciation of Gospel 
blessings ("The law was a schoolmaster to bring 
as imto Christ, that we might be justified by 

Banctyication of the Human Understanding. 109 

faith "") ; * they pomt out the typical character of 
the Rites and Ceremonies ordained by Moses, 
which afforded to the spiritual Jews glimpses of 
good things to come. They lay down the great 
principles of Christian Duty, and explain the 
theory of Christian Holiness, as flowing from, and 
originating in, the apprehension of Redeeming 
Love. They point out the constitution and des- 
tiny of the Church, teaching us that it exists as 
an arena for the display of the Sovereign Power 
of God's Grace, which is able to achieve a moral 
triumph over the sin, which brought death into 
the world. They give us to understand, that in 
the conflict proceeding upon Earth between good 
and evil, Grace and sin, more is at stake than a 
certain number of human souls; that a question 
of God's honour is pending on the conflict, — ^that 
honour, which has been assailed by malignant 
Spirits, and must be vindicated publicly before the 
Universe of Intelligent Beings. 

I might add many more points, in which the 
Epistles present us with what I may call the ratio- 
nale of God's proceedings. But I have said enough 
to prove the case ; and I will only add one remark, 
wMch seems essential to the completeness of the 

The principles of God's dealings in Grace, 
which it is the province of the Epistles to explain, 

* Gal. m. 24. 

110 The Adaptation of the EpistUa to the 

do not always admit of being perfectly and ftilly 
justified to the feeble capacity of Man. Enough 
for us, if we are permitted to discern any signi- 
ficance at all in God's arrangements for the salva- 
tion of His fallen creature; if we can only see 
enough to convince us that profoundest principles 
of Justice and Wisdom underlie the entire scheme. 
Let us feel assured, from what we know., and 
understand of His proceedings, that God has a 
counsel in all things which He does, although 
oftentimes it lies* hid in the waters so deep, that 
• to track it thither would take us out of our depth. 
If a father should explain to his children the 
principles on which he was conducting their edu- 
cation, to some of them, doubtless, what he said 
would be entirely devoid of meaning; by the 
most intelligent it would only be partially under- 
stood* But the fact of their failing to perceive the 
wisdom of the plan, so far from proving it to he 
devoid of wisdom, is what we should naturally 
expect beforehand, from the limited nature of a 
child's capacity. And in like manner, God's ways 
being not as our ways, nor His thoughts as our 
thoughts, it is not to be expected that our reason^ 
even when enlightened by the Holy Spirit, — ^much 
less when not so enlightened, — should always be 
able to follow and justify the principles of His deal- 
ings with us. 

Finally, Reader, I would warn you, as the 
appropriate close of a Chapter, whose topic has 

Sanctification of the JECuman Understanding » 111 

been the enlightening of the human understand- 
ing, that in order to grow in the knowledge of 
Divine Truth, it is necessary to embody in our 
practice that knowledge whereto we have attained. 
Who is there that is acting up to his knowledge, 
that is faithfdl to his convictions of duty ? To 
him shall the promise be fulfilled, "If any man 
will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, 
whether it be of God, or whether I speak of My- 
self." * But alas I how lamentably is the practice 
of all of us behind our knowledge ; for which 
reason it is that we seem to stand still in our 
heavenward course, making no solid attainment, 
no sure advance, as time goes on, and oppor- 
tunities fly past us. Period after period rapidly 
draws towards its close ; and the conscience of 
each one amongst us knows how little, within this 
period, we have improved in the graces of the 
Christian character. Lord, stir us up to translate 
into our practice that knowledge of Thy Will, 
whereunto we have already attained ; so that 
Thou, who dost graciously discipline us by Thy 
Word and Spirit, mayest lead us on to higher 
discoveries, and deeper apprehensions, — mayest 
lead us out of the dim mist and chill night-dews of 
lukewarmness and indifference, which at present 
hang about us and obstruct our spiritual sight, 
into the transparent sunlight of Thy Truth, and 
the genial fervour of Thy Love. 
* John vii. 17. 



John xvii 17. 

Becapitolatlon— Present disciusioxi oonfined to the moral and spirltiiAl uses 
of the Book of BeyeUtion— Seasons for belleylng that it has a moral as 
voU as a prophetical signficance— Bat few can nnderstuid the latter — 
' Scripture asserts a moral character for the whole of itself— The great moral 
influence exercised hy the Imagination, especially in youth— Suocessfol 
appeals to the Imagination by the Church of Borne— and what they ar- 
gue—The depravation of the taealty shown in its tendency to fEisten 
upon fictions— the relation in which a Bomance stands to Human Life- 
Some of the sublime scenes enumerated, which the Bevelation presents 
to the Imagination— Christ Glorified the Central Figure— The reality of 
those Visions— the moral influence they are calculated to ezerdse— Why 
St. John is colled the Dlylne, and in what sense all should be Divines- 


Having pointed out a threefold division of that 
part of the Word of God with which as Christians 
we are most concemed, into the Historical Books 
(or Gospels and Acts), the Doctrinal Books (or 
Epistles), and the Book of Revelation ; and having 

The Adaptation of the Book of Hevelation^ dbo. 113 

observed th^t there is ^ power, principle, or faculty 
of Man's Moral Nature, corresponding to each 
branch of this threefold division (that Nature 
being made up of the Affections, the Understand- 
ing, and the Imagination), and having fttrther 
shown how the Gospels are adapted to sanctify, or 
purify, the Affections of the human heart, and 
how the Epistles are adapted to enlighten the 
Understanding on the subject of Christian Doc- 
trine ; we now plroceed to point out how the 
Book of Revelation is adapted to puiify the 
Imagination, and thus to exhibit the moral and 
spiritual use of this sublime portion of the Word 
of God. 

1. Let it be distinctly understood that we are 
speaking only of its moral and spiritual uses. The 
work has other and more important uses, all con- 
sideration of which, however, we waive on the 
present occasion, as not bearing upon our im- 
mediate subject, the Devotional Study of Holy 
Scripture. The Revelation is evidently a great 
piece of Prophecy, and probably predicts the for- 
tunes of Christ's Church even to the time of the end. 
But with its prophetical significanoe we have noth- 
ing to do at present. We confine ourselves to its 
moral and spiritual significance. 

One great reason for believing that the Reve- 
lation has a moral significance over and above its 
prophetical character, is that, on the contraiy 
hypothesis, it is, and must remain, to the great 

114 The Adaptation of the Booh of Itevelation to 

majority of Christians, a dead letter. In an^ 
ordinary congregation, not one person probably 
out of every fifty is competent, in point of learning 
and education, to study, much less to comprehend, 
its prophetical significance ; and even supposing 
them competent to the study, scarcely one out of 
every hundred possesses leisure or materials for 
its prosecution. Indeed, sa numerous and so 
arduous are the qualifications required, not only 
in an expositor of this Book, but even in one who 
would become a judge and critic of existing ex- 
positions, that (^y* the work have only 2i, prophetical 
significance) it were certainly wiser and better, 
for the great mass of the Christian World, not to 
meddle at all with its perusal And to this most 
mistaken conclusion a large proportion of those 
who read the Scriptures with a simple view to 
edification, do, in reality, seem to have come. 
There are comparatively few, I fear, who have 
done so much as honour this portion of God's 
Word with one attentive perusal, such as might 
give them a general acquaintance, if not with its 
meaning, yet at least with its outline and contents. 
But can this course of proceeding be at ?ill justified 
upon reflection ? Granting this book (as we aU 
do grant it) to be a portion of God's Inspired 
Word, what says the Scripture respecting itself 
and its own uses ? " All Scripture is given by 
inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, 
for reproof, for correction, for instruction in 

the Scmctification of the Human Imagination. 116 

righteousness." * Does not this text clearly assert 
that a moral use attaches to the entire Volume of 
Scripture; that all Books of the Sacred Canon 
are adapted to the spiritual cleansing of man's 
corrupt nature, and will prove to every humble 
and devout student an instrument of Sanctifi- 
cation ? I proceed now to explain the method in 
which the Book of Revelation, even where its 
prophetical significance cannot in the least be 
understood, may exercise this happy and healthful 
influence upon the mind. 

2. Its great moral use consists, I believe, in 
this, that it is adapted to fill the Imagination 
with sublime imagery, — ^imagery which is not 
the creation of the human brain, but has certain 
divine and heavenly Realities corresponding to it. 

Does any one doubt that the Imagination is a 
moral power; that it has great effect upon the 
moral character; great influence in determining 
the will either for good or evil ? Is it not through 
deceitful pictures presented to the Imagination, of 
the treasures of delight which this world has in 
store, — ^pictures so artfully contrived, as to conceal 
the thorn, while they exhibit the fragrant and 
delicately coloured petals of the rose, — ^that the 
Devil succeeds in persuading the youthful mind to 
devote itself to the pursuit of worldly vanity and 
sinful pleasure ? Will not the conscience of all 

1 2 Tim. iii. 16. 

116 The Adaptation of the Book of JReveldtion to 

the young respond to me, when I say that the 
Imagination is the avenue whereby e^dl passes 
into the heart ; that if we could but keep the 
chambers of Imagery pure — ^pure as they were in 
the days of our childhood, when we lisped our 
prayer at the knee of our mothers — ^pure as in the 
days of our earliest boyhood, ere yet we had 
breathed the atmosphere of school, and received 
there our initiation into the knowledge of sin, — 
Reader, will not your conscience respond to me, 
when I say, that if this could be effected, by the 
power of God's Spirit, and by the use of God's 
. Word, half the battle would be won, and victory 
over sin would become comparatively easy ? And, 
if further proof be needed of the point, who 
knows not that the gratification of the Imaginative 
Faculty, which the Church of Rome provides in 
her Ritual and Offices, — the poetry with which 
she invests religion, and seeks to make it amiable 
in the eyes of the ardent and enthusiastic, — ^has 
had a mighty influence in winning for her, and 
devoting to her cause, converts from a pure faith 
and a Scriptural form of Religion? The under- 
standing of these most unhappy persons has been 
hoodwinked by her artifices; and if you examine 
into the real ground of their allegiance to her, you 
will find it in the poetical beauty of her system, 
which carries away the mind into submission to 
her authority, wherever the Imaginative Faculty 
is allowed too free a scope, and not held in check 

the Sanctification of the JBuman Imagination. 117 

by the counterbalancing powers of Judgment and 

3. Let us now say a few words upon the 
diseased state of the Imaginative Faculty by 
nature, that we may the more clearly discern what 
remedies are necessary for the counteraction of 
the disease, and how the Word of God applies such 

The defect of this faculty, then, in its. best 
natural state (for I am not now speaking of its worst 
state, in which it is made the avenue of introducing 
evil into the heart), is its tendency to fasten upon 
fictions. The Affections of man, by nature, engage 
themselves with unsatisfying objects. The TJnder- 
standing naturally contemplates the subjects which 
pass before it under false lights, and so is duped. 
The Imagination soars not by nature among the 
sublimities of a higher sphere of existence (which 
is its legitimate province, when rightly directed), 
but amidst unrealities derived by abstraction from 
the experience of every-day life. And this state- 
ment*requires a little explanation. 

The favourite food of the Imagination is a work 
of Romance. I say of Romance rather than of 
Poetry, because Romance is of the essence of 
Poetry, metre and rhyme being only its accidental 
ornaments. Now what is a work of Romance? 
It is a fictitious narrative, composed by abstraction 
(a process of the author's mind) from what really 
occurs. Human Life, if it be considered in its 

118 The Adaptation of the Booh of Revelation to 

ordinary course, is a dull and plodding routine of 
occupations and amusements, whose uniformity is 
the rule, while the passages of interest constitute 
the exception. But, insipid as Life is to one who 
comes close up to it, and meddles with its trivial 
passages, there is in all, even in its humblest 
forms, an undersong of Poetry, which makes itself 
heard to those who listen for it, as it were from a 
distance, just as the sound of chiming bells, which 
the ear detects as untrue when close beneath the 
bell turret, is mellowed into harmony, if it come to 
us across wooded copse, and sheets of water, and 
green pasture-land. Now the province of Romance 
is to abstract from Human Life this its poetical 
element, to seize its salient points of character and 
incident, to omit and abridge all the mechanical 
and routine passages intervening between the 
salient points, and to weave these points into an 
artificial plot. The result is a representation of 
Life, which, if not untrue in the sense of unnatural, 
is at least such as never was, and never will be, 
realized. And accordingly, our feeling in turning 
again to our daily pursuits, after the perusal of 
such works, is one of disappointment. It is as if 
we woke froili a beautiful and pleasant dream, to 
grapple once more with the mechanical routine of 
our ordinary occupations. 

Such is the species of gratification which, in its 
natural unrenewed state, the Imaginative Faculty 
Reeks for itself. But what is the gratification 

the Sanctification of the Suman Imagination. 119 

which God provides for it in His Word? In the 
Book of Revelation He opens to us the sublimities 
of a higher sphere of existence, — a sphere where 
sin and sorrow are unknown, — a sphere, of whose 
glories and blessedness our conceptions will always 
fall short, exalt them how we may. The simple 
and humble man of heart takes up the Book, and 
there he reads of an Awful Form, seated on the 
Throne which has been prepared from everlasting, — 
a Form, which is to look upon as a jasper and a 
sardine stone; of twenty-four elders clothed in 
white raiment, who cast down their golden crowns 
before the finnamental sea of crystal, above which 
this Throne is set; of a great multitude of all 
nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, 
who having washed their robes in the Blood of the 
Lamb, stand before the Throne with palms (the 
emblems of achieved victory) in their hands ; of 
jubilant harpers singing the song of Moses and of 
the Lamb; of a new Heaven and a new Earth, 
where there is no more curse, no more night, no 
more sea, no more death ; of a Celestial City, 
whose light is like unto a stone most precious, 
and wherein is seen no Temple, for the Lord 
God Almighty and the Lamb are the Temple 
of it. 

And what is the Central Figure, around which 
all this blessedness and this glory is grouped ? It 
is the Figure of Him who once trod upon this 
Earth, veiling the glories of His Gbdhead beneath 

120 The Adaptation of the Book of Itevelation to 

the form of a servant, and under a shroud of flesh 
and blood. But He is no longer the Man of 
Sorrows and acquainted with grief. He is no 
longer compassed about with the infirmities which 
flesh is heir to; no longer pillows His shelterless 
head upon the rugged mountain steep, nor sits in 
languor and exhaustion upon Jacob's well. He 
hath put off His work-day apparel, and hath 
arrayed Himself in His robes of royalty. And 
a glimpse of Him in this array is afforded to us 
by the Inspired Seer in Patmos. "I was in the 
Spirit," he says, "on the Lord's Day, and behold 
One like unto the Son of Man, whose head and His 
hairs were white like wool, as white as snow ; and 
His eyes were as a flame of fire ; and His feet like 
unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; 
and His voice as the sound of many waters." * The 
various visions, to which I have made allusion, all 
express a state of things, which either is at present 
realised in the world of spirit, and only shrouded 
from us by the veil of sense, or else which will be 
realised in the world of Glory. 

These are no baseless dreams of the poet, to 
which nothing can be found in actual matter of 
fact that will correspond; no creations of a fervid 
brain, or an highly-wrought fancy. And yet how 
can the most gorgeous fancy go beyond the por- 
traitures of this Book, in imagining to itself the 

* Rev. i. 10, 18—15. 

the Sanctijication of the Suman Imagination, 121 

bright, the beautifiil, and the sublime? Here we 
have Truth, pure Truth, outstripping Fiction, 
even when Fiction is invested in her most glowing 
colours, and soars upon her sublimest wing. And 
can we doubt that Truth here also, as in the other 
departments of God's Word, has a sanctifying 
efficacy? Can we doubt that the glories of the 
spiritual world, when made to pass before the eyes 
of a mind which is disciplined by the Spirit of 
God, will have the blessed effect of purifying the 
Imaginative Faculty; yea, of strengthening its 
wing, and rendering it competent to higher 
flights ? The Imagery of Heaven once admitted 
to fuU possession of the mind, will gradually make 
the Imagery of Earth (however bright and beau- 
tiful) to wane, even as artificial lights pale their 
ineffectual fire before the golden dawn of the 

I trust it has now been satisfactorily shown, 
that in order to derive much benefit from the 
Book of Revelation, it is not necessary to have an 
understanding of its prophetic signification. We 
shall not have missed of the blessing which is 
solemnly annexed to the reading and hearing the 
words of the Book of this Prophecy, if, in the 
course of our perusal of it, we have caught glimpses 
—it may be, dim and mysterious glimpses — of 
heavenly blessedness, hereafter to be realised, and 
of that Divine Person, who opened the gates of 
Heaven to all believers, — ^glimpses such as stir in 

122 The Adaptation of the Boole of Revelation to 

us more fervent aspirations after spiritual good, 
and urge us forward on our pilgrimage with better 
hope and heartier energy. Even so the wayworn 
traveller catches, through tangled branches, the 
pinnacles and spires of the city to which he is 
bound, and cheered by the momentary , and dis- 
jointed vision, presses on towards it with elastic 
step and buoyant heart. 

The Book is entitled the Revelation of St. 
John th^ Divine. And truly is the Seer of 
Patmos deserving of that name, — a name which 
has since received a degenerate (I had almost 
said a degraded) application to persons learned 
in the documents of Religion. We camiot all 
be divines in the modem and inferior sense of 
that term. But all of us may be so in its higher 
and more exalted sense. We may all of us, — 
most especially the young and comparatively 
pure, — we may all of us, under the discipline of 
God's Spirit J see deep into the realities of the 
spiritual world. We may all of us apprehend 
and contemplate by faith those ResuiTCCtion 
Glories of the Saviour, which John apprehended 
with the eye of the body. We may all of us, 
and the youngest and purest most easily, have 
opened to us such glimpses of the blessedness 
of Christ's people, as shall make us long to be 
with Him where He is. 

And if such be the influence, which, under 
God's Grace, steals forth upon our minds from 

the Sanctijication of the Suman Imagination, 123 

tbe perusal of this Book, who shall deny that it 
has taken its due effect within us; who shall 
deny that the Lord's prayer for His disciples has 
received an answer in our experience ; " Sanctify 
them through Thy Truth : Thy Word is Truth"? 



" Jor tobat man knoJbottI) i^t ilin^z nf a mait, JsaBt lt)t jspirit 
of man fafcuj^ ^b in tim? iBtn 50 Ifit tI)in(g[JB d (Soil imcfottt 
no man, 5ut tf)t spirit of CQxoIj/'— 1 Cor. ii. 11. 

One man a stranger to the internal processes of the mind of another— The 
whole mind never revealed even to the most Intimate friend — consequent 
misapprehensions of the real character of one another— the Holy Spirit 
or Divine Consciousness must be transferred into onr consciousness, 
before we can apprehend Divine Truths-Comparison of the Scriptures 
to a sun-dial, and of the Spirit to Light— Guidance of both the Word 
and the Spirit recognised in the Psalms as essential— and in the 
Collect for St. John the Evangelist's day— Necessity of the Spirit's 
teaching illustrated— The imaginative faculty necessary to enable us 
to appreciate Poetry— The serenity of the writings of the Evangelists 
— ^its marvcllousness under their circumstances— A man under the 
influence of party spirit unable to appreciate these writings, because 
his fi:amo of mind is irreceptive of their tone— The same argument 
applied to the Psalms— Bear in mind that 1^ The operation of the 
Spirit cannot be distinguished from that of the mental faculties, because 
He acts through them— 2. That the individual teaching of the Holy 
Ghost does not interfere with the necessity of HunEian Instruction, 
both the written and the preached Word being instruments through 
which the Spirit conveys Instruction— The study of the Holy Scriptures 
supplies a test of religious character— Conclusion. 

The N'ecessity of the Secret Teaching^ <&c. 125 

" What man knoweth the things of a man, save 
the spirit of man which is in him ? " We live 
outside of one another. We are, to a very great 
extent, strangers to what passes in the breast of 
other men. 

"Not e'en the dearest heart, and next our own, 
Knows half the reasons why we smile or sigh." 

Each heart is a world to itself; has its own 
cycle, lives in its own sphere, of joys and sorrows, 
hopes and fears, interests and counsels, fancies 
and apprehensions. By sympathy is meant 
general similarity of tastes, — a general interest 
in one another, subsisting between two persons 
and leading them to comparatively free com- 
munications. I say, comparatively free ; for even 
to the dearest and most confidential of friends we 
should shrink from absolutely revealing our whx)le 
^ inward being. We naturally recoil from leaving 
on the mind of another an impression which 
would be so disagreeable, — from representing 
ourselves in the unamiable light of naked, simple, 
unreserved Truth ; we suppress in the depths of 
our own consciousness the thought of conceit, 
and self-glorification, the secret desire of impurity, 
the secret delight in an enemy's calamity, the 
secret gratification in our own importance, the 
secret pride which cloaks itself under an ex- 
pression of humility. Only the fairer parts of 
us ever come abroad : these more intimate senti- 

126 Tlie Necessity of the Secret Teaching 

ments, which are harboured in the cabinet ol 
the consciousness, are communicated absolutely 
to no one. And, as with our worst feelings, so 
it is, more or less, with every thing which really 
touches us. How deeply, or how slightly, the 
ordinary sources of joy and sorrow affect us, 
none but ourselves really know. A man has a 
great loss in his family, — is bereaved of some 
dear friend or near relative. "What a blow to 
him ! " say his friends ; " how will he ever recover 
it ? " Probably it ought to be a blow ; but we 
live outside of him, and who can tell whether it 
is really so, at least to the extent which we 
imagine ? After all, it may touch him, for divers 
little reasons, but superficially. While some lit- 
tle wayward turn in life's affairs, some malignant 
innuendo, some very trifle of anxiety, may find 
hini far more sensitive, and make a much deeper 
impression on his soul. His consciousness is not 
revealed to us, and we are, therefore, much in the 
dark respecting his true sentiments. "The heart 
knoweth his own bitterness, and a stranger doth 
not intermeddle with his joy." * 

Now our text teaches us, that as no one man 
is acquainted with the consciousness of another 
man, even so the things of God — ^His counsels, 
thoughts, ways of viewing men and actions, 
objects of complacency and aversion, — "even so 

* Prov. xiy. 10. 

of the Holy Ghost. 127 

the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit 
of God." The Holy Spirit, or Third Person in the 
Blessed Trinity, is to God, what consciousness is to 
man. The Holy Spirit is, if I may so express my- 
self with reverence, God's Consciousness, God's In- 
nermost Being, God's Mind. 

The consciousness of one man cannot be made 
over or transferred to another. Your consciousness 
and mine are separated and apart: they cannot 
be mingled or identified. But God's Conscious- 
ness may, by an act of Divine Power, be trans- 
fused into, and blended with the consciousness of 
His creatures : so that His Mind shall truly and 
really become their mind. His sentiments their sen- 
timents. His interests their interests, His counsels 
their counsels. 

And until this transference of the Spirit of God 
into the spirit of man is made, we live outside of 
God. We may hear the echoing thunder of His 
judgments, when they are abroad in the world ; 
we may have the examples of His mercy and the 
monuments of His wrath before our eyes ; the 
still small voice of His gracious invitations may 
be addressed to us ; the letter of Holy Scripture 
may be familiar to us from our youth upward as 
a household word ; and from these aids we may 
form some general conjectures as to the Divine 
Character : but to God's own thought and counsel 
we must remain strangers, until the Holy Spirit 
initiates us into it intrinsically, by the communi- 


128 The Necessity of the Secret Teaching 

cation of the Divine mindmnto the mind of the 

The Scripture, then, cannot be deeply and per- 
fectly understood, except by the guidance of the 
same Mind which inspired it. It is an outward 
Revelation of God, and we need, in order to make 
it plain, an inward Revelation also. The Scripture 
resembles a sun-dial, which is in itself perfect and 
complete, graven with all the hours, and with a 
gnomon which casts an exact shadow. But the 
indispensable condition of the sun-dial's useful- 
ness, is Light. On a cloudy day, in the twilight, 
and at midnight, the sun-dial avails not to inform 
us of the time. Even so the Scripture is " able to 
make us wise unto salvation, through faith which 
is in Chi-ist Jesus." It is the chart of the road to 
Glory, on which every shoal, and beacon, and 
light-house, every sounding, every latitude and 
longitude, is marked with unerring accuracy- 
But the one indispensable condition of the Scrip- 
ture's answering its end is, that the Spirit, while 
we read it, shall be shining in upon the heart. 
Without such shining, the Word itself must be a 
dead letter to us, — a barren series of doctrines and 
principles, without beauty and significance. 

The Psalmist recognises this doctrine, when he 
prays, '' O send out Thy Light and Thy Truth ; 
that they may lead me." He does not say " Thy 
Light " simply ; that would be to lose sight of the 
Word of Truth; nor does he say "Thy Truth" 

of the Holy Ghost. 129 

simply : that would be to lose sight of the Light 
of the Spirit; but he exclaims, "O send out Thy 
Light AND Thy Truth, that they may lead me, and 
bring me to Thy holy hill, and to Thy dwelling." 
Both are equally matters of necessity. In exact 
conformity with which Scripture, our Church on 
St. John the Evangelist's Day teaches us to pray 
thus, " Merciful Lord, we beseech Thee to cast Thy 
bright beams of light " (there is the light of the 
Spirit) "upon Thy Church, that it, being en- 
lightened by the doctrine of Thy blessed Apostle 
and Evangelist Saint John" (there is the Sun-dial 
of the Word), "may so walk in the light of Thy 
Truth, that it may at length attain to the light of 
everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord." 
Here is a Body of Divinity in a few short lines. 
The necessity of the Light of the Spirit. The 
necessity of the Light of the Word. The neces- 
sity of conducting ourselves according to these 
Lights. And finally, the Light at the close of 
such a career, which is the Light of Glory. The 
man who wrote that Collect, knew something 
about Heaven and the way to reach it. 

The doctrine, that we can only enter into the 
Scripture by that Spirit under whose Inspiration 
it was written, is not only clearly stated in Reve- 
lation ; it rests also upon most obvious grounds of 

Without some kind of sympathy with the mind 
of a poet, — without the poetical turn, as it is 

130 The Necessity of the Secret Teaching 

called, it would be impossible to appreciate Poetiy. 
And each distinct species of Poetry can only be so 
far understood, and its significance only so far dis- 
cerned, by the reader, as he finds in himself some 
taste for it. The literature may stimulate the 
taste, but there must exist a taste in the first in- 
stance, as the essential condition, the necessary 
basis, upon which aU right apprehension of the 
poem must be built. And so it is with other 
classes of literature. 

It would not, then, be consonant even with 
Reason, to expect that the Holy Scriptures should 
be exempted from the operation of a law which 
applies to every other class of literature; that it 
should be feasible to enter into their significance, 
without ha-ving imbibed something of their spirit 
in the first instance. I will exemplify this some- 
what in detail, by way of making it more ap- 

Take the Mind, which pervades the Holy Gos- 
pels — which transpires in every page and in every 
line of them. Consider what it is. Did you ever 
make an attempt to realize the wonderfulness of 
its serenity? The perfect serenity with which 
the Gospels are written, is to me the most strik- 
ing proof of their Inspiration. Remember that 
the authors were deeply and personally impli- 
cated in the matters which they record. Re- 
member that they had sacrificed every thing to 
the great cause which they maintain. Remember 

of the Holy Ghost. 131 

that St. Peter (from whom is supposed to have 
emanated St. Mark's Gospel) and St. John were 
men of ardent feelings and of the deepest affec- 
tions. Remember that all the Christians of that 
day, but especially those who were taken to be 
ringleaders in the sect of the Nazarenes, were the 
subject of every species of insult, slight, and per- 
secution, which the combined malice of earth and 
hell could fling upon them. And then remember 
what the Gospels are ; that they are the plainest 
of plain narratives (plain even to homeliness), 
untinted with a single hue of passion; that the 
writers do not appear in the character of advo- 
cates, whose aim is to maintain a cause, and to 
work up an interest in the hearer by large com- 
ments, and fervid declamation on facts ; but that 
they confine themselves to the function of mere 
witnesses, stating, in a passionless, emotionless 
way, without note or comment, what took place, 
extenuating nothing in their own party, and 
setting down nought in malice against their an- 
tagonists, mentioning their own faithlessness and 
the denial of St. Peter, equally with the good 
traits of Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea, and 
Gamaliel; and it then becomes apparent that, in 
order to enable them to write thus, the minds of 
the writers must have been lifted up above the 
storms and clouds of passion and prejudice, into 
that pure and serene Light, which enables us to 
descry all objects in their right and undistorted 

132 The NecesHiy of the Secret Teaching 

proportions, — the Light of Truth, or in other and 
better 'words, the Light of God. 

!N'ow I will suppose a man, with a large portion 
of enthusiasm in his constitution, abandoning 
himself to party spirit in some noble cause, where 
great interests are at stake. He is zealous for 
what he conceives to be justice and right, and 
herein he does well (Gallionism and ihdifferentism 
is a most unchristian state of mind), but in his 
zeal he loses sight of Love, and occasionally (from 
want of watchfulness) allows himself to overstep 
the bounds of truth and candour. He deals in 
exaggerated statements, hot intemperate expres- 
sions; he imputes motives; he judges measures 
rather by the men that advocate them, than by 
their intrinsic merits. In this state of mind he 
would relish keenly the pointed sarcasms, and 
brilliant antithesis, of a profane historian; he 
might kindle into enthusiasm, as Clarendon de- 
scribes the sorrows of a discrowned and persecuted 
Sovereign; every clever invective launched by 
the press against the -views or character of his 
opponents, would fan the flame of his enthusiasm ; 
but when, after a day's haranguing, agitation, 
and excitement, he retires to rest, if he sees the 
Holy Scriptures on his shelf, and the thought of 
devotional exercises crosses him, how will he feel 
disposed towards the Gospels ? Is it not manifest 
that he is in a frame of mind utterly irreceptive of 
the Holy Literature ; that his eyes may wander 

of the Holy Ghost. 133 

over the page, and his mind take in the facts of 
the narrative, and yet that the whole shall be a 
sealed book to him, because his present mood of 
mind is so alien from the spirit of the writer ? Is 
it not manifest that the plain, tintless narrative, 
so far from unveiling to him its unrivalled grace 
and majesty, will be distastefiil to him because 
there is nothing in it which meets his present 
sentiments ; that he will secretly say of it as the 
Israelites, who lusted after flesh, said of the 
manna, " Our soul loatheth this light food " ? Yet, 
like the manna, God's Word is a pure and heavenly 
viand, and has its relish for a pure and simple 

And similarly with the Psalms. The Psalms, 
as we have said, are songs of the Religious Affec- 
tions. If a man knows not what religious affec- 
tions are; if his hopes and fears, and joys and 
sorrows, have relation only to this world; if he 
has never endeavoured to lead a spiritual life, and 
so is a stranger to the fluctuations of spiritual 
feeling ; if he has never experienced the delight- 
fulness of prayer, and distress at being baffled in 
the attempt to pray, it is of course an impossibility 
that he can enter into the significance of Sacred 
Hymns, whose very design is to give utterance to 
such feelings. The song of chivalry and secular 
enterprise, the plaintive sonnet descanting upon 
earthly hopes, or earthly affections, or earthly 
dreams of bliss, — ^these may have for hira a strong 

134 The Necessity of the Secret TeacMng 

spell of ^scination. But the condition of bis 
appreciatiDg the Psalms of David, is, that there 
be in his mind a "heavenly and spiiitnal element, — 
a principle not of the earth, earthy. And this 
element and principle is the agency of a person in 
the mind, — even the agency of the Spirit of the 
Living God. 

In order to guard myself against misapprehen- 
sion of my meaning, I should observe : First, that 
the movements of the Holy Spirit cannot be, by 
those who experience them, distinguished from 
the natural operations of the mind. You are not 
to expect, after you have prayed for God's Holy 
Spirit, any sudden influx of a wonderful light, 
quite distinct from the ordinary powers of Re- 
flection and Memory. The Holy Spirit acts upon 
the mind through the ordinary mental faculties, 
not without them, or independently of them. 
Similarly He acts upon the will through the ordi- 
nary motives of fear, love, hope, and not inde- 
pendently of them. The two cases are completely 
analogous. When the testimony of God's wrath 
against sin is made to any sinner, it is the Holy 
Spirit who stimulates the ordinary motive of fear 
in the sinner's heart, and makes it operate upon 
the testimony. The man is wrought upon in that 
case by one of the motives which are commonly 
operative among men; but the motive is set at 
work by, and receives its peculiar direction from, 
the Holy Spirit. Just so it is with the mind. 

of the Holy Ghost. 135 

When the Spirit enlightens it, He does so through 
the instrumentality of the ordinary faculties. 
"When after careful, patient thought, or after an 
effort of the Imagination to realize some Scriptural 
ISTarrative in all its details, we find that the diffi- 
culties, one after another, begin to clear up, like 
clouds rolling away from the bosom of a mountain, 
and revealing patches of verdure smitten with the 
sunbeam; or when Memory recalls some apposite 
allusion elsewhere, or some illustrative experience, 
through which we ourselves have passed, the light 
so vouchsafed is undistinguishable in our conscious- 
ness from that which is supplied by our natural 
faculties ; it is supplied through them, they being 
called into operation and assisted by Grace, whose 
primary actings are in the abysmal depths of the 
mind, far beyond the ken of the keenest self- 

Secondly: the fact that to each individual 
under the New Dispensation is covenanted the 
teaching of the Holy Ghost to guide him into all 
truth, does not the least interfere, it* rightly 
understood, with the necessity of human instruc- 
tion. Human instruction — ^Preaching in the wide 
sense of the word — ^is itself one of the channels 
through which the Holy Spirit dispenses Truth. 
Originally there was no other channel. Before 
the composition and compilation of the Books of 
the New Testament, men received Divine Truth 
exclusively through the voice of the Instructor. 

136 The Necessity of the Secret Teaching 

If between this fact, and the doctrine that Chiis- 
tians are taught supremly by the Holy Spirit (a 
doctrine assevered in the strongest serms in Heb. 
viii. 11), the Apostles saw no discrepancy, why 
should we discover a discrepancy at the present 
day ? The fact is, that both the Preached Word 
and the Written Word are instmments, not origi- 
nating agents, of instruction. The Teacher in 
both is the Holy Ghost. Moreover, to be preached 
to, is to receive the results of another's thinking 
upon God's Word, and his thoughts are as likely 
to be enlightened by the Holy Spirit (rather, as 
the Christian Ministry is a Divine Institution, 
honoured and blessed of God, far more likely to 
be so enlightened) than our own. In saying 
therefore, that Christians are to search the Scrip- 
tures for themselves, with prayer for guidance 
into all truth, we by no means imply that they 
may dispense with the instruction of God's ambas- 
sadors, or that they must not avail themselves 
diligently of every human means, from which 
enlightenment in the knowledge of God may be 

Thus, then, we close the consideration of the 
great subject, which has occupied these pages. 
God dispose all hearts to adopt the practice, for 
which they have been designed to furnish helps ! 
And as I am speaking to the young especially, as 
well as to all generally, I will say that this is one 
of those points of duty which supply us with a 

of the Holy Ghost. 137 

test of character in early life, — which serve while 
at School to discriminate the godly from the god-* 
less boy. The outward form of prayer is so 
commonly adopted by all, that it has ceased to be 
a test. I apprehend that now-a-days, in all our 
Schools (God be praised for it), the entire neglect 
of private prayer would be visited with the cen- 
sure and disapprobation of society. Not so, as I 
understand modem school life, the Study of the 
Scriptures. The minority only study them ; or, 
at least, only the minority study them daily, 
prayerfully, and thoughtfully. Therefore, this 
sort of study will furnish to members of a School, 
a test of their religious character and attainments ; 
not of course an infallible test, but still one which 
to him who can pass it, will be fraught with more 
or less of comfort, in proportion to the depth and 
reality with which the devotional exercise is per- 

God make us all to know and feel that real 
peace and solid satisfaction cannot be enjoyed 
except in Communion with Him ; and that such 
Communion is impossible, except both we address 
Him, and He address us. And may He address 
us out of His lively oracles, warning, guiding, en- 
couraging, instructing, comforting us, turning the 
old archive into a living counsellor, and causing 
His Word \o become to each one amongst us His 


" (Stoi) . . . Jxibom 3 Bnht kiitfe mg jspirit." — ^Romans I 9. 

A complete specimen of a Meditation is one which calls into exercise all tbe 
powers of the mind, the Imagination, the Memory and Understanding, 
the Affections, and the Will— The relative importance of these exercises 
stated— Objection arising from the diflloalty of Meditation answered. 

It is thought well to sabjoin to the preceding 
little treatise the plan of a Meditation on Holy 
Scripture, such as we have recommended. 

But lest, in giving the full detail of such a plan, 
I should discourage or terrify any reader, by 
seeming to exact more than he can give, let me 
say at the outset, that as it is with the money, so 
it is also with the leisure which is at our disposal. 
God requires us to give to the extent of our ability, 
and not beyond our ability. We are about to 
furnish a general framework upon which medita- 
tions may be constructed, not a model to which 
we are to tie ourselves down in a -slavish and 
scrupulous spirit. And be it remembered that, as 
was suggested in a former Chapter, many hours of 

The Plan of a Meditation, 139 

solitude not spent in our closets, yet in which our 
thoughts are free, may be profitably devoted to 
this exercise. A solitary walk may frequently be 
applied in this manner, when no other time can 
well be found. The freedom from interruption, 
and presence of Nature, furnished by a walk, are 
both of them helps to the mind in the performance 
of such a work. 

First, — ^Endeavour to realize the Presence of 
God, or of Jesus Christ, according to that concep- 
tion of this great Truth which best suits your own 
mind. Do not be long about it, or get the mind 
into tangles and curious questions, as to the method 
of God's Presence. A simple, lively remembrance 
will suffice. He is here. That is certain. That is 

Secondly, — Call upon God, as an essential con- 
dition of success, to inspire you with holy thoughts 
and to bless them to your spiritual profit and 
growth in grace, for Cheist's sake. This too is 
to be done very briefly ; but, as every thing depends 
upon it, with great earnestness. As you would act 
with a friend who is just quitting you, throwing 
your whole soul into one parting injunction, or one 
parting request, which you whisper in his ear as he 
is turning his back, — employ even such brevity and 
such earnestness, in urging your suit to the High 
and Holy One. 

Thirdly, — Open the passage of Scripture which 
is to form the subject of the Meditation ; or, if 

140 The Plan of a Meditation. 

you have it in your memory, repeat it mentally. 
It would be well to choose it the day before ; ox 
let it choose itself by coming in order. Take 
the simple, and avoid the difficult, parts of the 
Bible. The words of Our Lord, His Parables, 
His Miracles, the narratives of the Infancy and 
the Passion, are all sufficiently simple, and all 
(especially the Passion) full of profit. Take any 
of these ; and choose (ordinarily) not more than a 
single verse. 

Fourthly, — ^The Bible (in the original, if you 
know the language sufficiently well to make it 
available) being opened at the passage, picture 
to yourself the circumstances by an effi^rt of the 
Imagination. This will serve to ^x the mind to the 
point, as falconers tie a hawk on their hand with a 
jess, when they do not wish to let it fly. 

That I may show what a depth of meaning 
there is in every word of our Lord, as well as to 
give an example of the practice of meditation, I 
will suppose the passage chosen to be one of His 
shortest recorded speeches, — only four words in 
the English, only three in the Greek, " ^6g not 
TTcelVy^^ " Give Me to. drink." 

Before you begin to reflect upon them, picture 
to yourself the scene with its two interlocutors. 
A noontide sun glaring down with broad bright 
eye, in a sultry eastern climate. A well, whose 
mouth is surrounded by a low wall of masonry, 
of breadth sufficient to affiDrd a seat, a owme 

The Plan of a Meditation. 141 

pertaps, or rude lever stretcliing over it, to , 
which the bucket is fastened by a rope, for the 
purpose of letting it down and drawing it up. 
Our Blessed Lord sitting upon the parapet of 
the well, and the woman of Samaria standing by, 
having just shifted her water-jar from her head, 
on which she had carried it from the city, to her 
hand, and being about to annex it to the end 
of the rope. In the background rises Mount 
Gerizim, crowned by the ruins of the Samaritan 
Temple, which was destroyed by John Hyrcanus 
some hundred and sixty years ago, but the broad 
steps leading up to which are still seen cut out 
in the rocky side of the mountain. Between 
this mountain and the speakers, rich rustling 
fields of ripe grain, upon whose whiteness the 
breeze brings a shadow-stain when it sweeps 
across and freshens the ears. Those figures re- 
ceding in the distant perspective, and nearing 
the city walls, are the Disciples, gone to purchase 
provisions. Close to the well stands a palm-tree, 
which, with its overarching feather-like leaves, 
makes a pleasant shade over the parapet; and, 
besides this, the figures in the foreground are 
sheltered from the sunstroke by a large over- 
hanging turban, which throws into shadow not 
only the brow, but the entire face. — To picture 
all this to oneself is a work of the Imagination, 
or perhaps of the Fancy. It is entirely pre- 
liminary and subservient to the great business 

142 The Plan of a Meditation, 

of the Meditation; yet it is not to be despised, 
both for the reason I have named, that it serves 
as a means of tying down the mind, and also 
because we thus yield to Almighty God the 
homage of our Imagination, which is an important 
faculty of the mind. 

Fifthly, — ^The circumstances having been pic- 
tured, next comes the exercise of the Understand- 
ing upon the words. We reflect upon them, turn 
them over in the mind, endeavour to make out 
what they teach, what doctrine is wrapped up in 
them, and what duty. Upon the words, "Give 
Me to drink, " as falling from Our Lord's lips, 
the following reflections might arise. They show 
how perfectly Christ was partaker of our human 
nature, in all those infirmities of it which do 
not involve sin. He can understand these in- 
firmities, and sympathize with them, as having 
personally experienced them. — ^Again, we re- 
member that He virtually asked for drink on 
another occasion, when upon the Cross He cried, 
"I thirst." What a contrast between the two 
occasions ! Here He sits at ease, reposing Him- 
self. There every limb is strained and racked. 
Here it is only the heat of the sun, and His foot- 
sore journey, which has caused discomfort. There 
it is the torture, both of the posture and of the 
nails, which sends an agony through the whole 
of that Sacred Frame. Hereupon we may take 
occasion to reflect how trifling are the petty 

The Plan of a Meditation. 143 

discomposures of this life, while we have our 
health, — ^the little crosses, frets, and rubs, of 
which some petulant persons make so heavy a 
burden, — compared with the racking pain of 
some pining patient, like Hezekiah, of whom 
God makes an end from morning to night. — 
Lastly: what an honour to be asked to give 
drink to Our Lord ! what a distinction to do Him 
the slightest service, even to the unloosing of 
the latchet of His sandal ! But are we sure that 
He never asks for drink at our hands? Rather 
we are sure that He often does so. When the 
poor Christian asks for a drink, it is Jesus askiug 
through him. And if we feed the poor Chiistian 
in His Name, He will recognize this as a service 
done to Himself, when He sits, not upon the 
well, but upon the judgment-seat. To ua the 
King will then say: "I was an hungered, and 
ye gave Me meat; I was thirsty^ and ye gave Me 
drinJc,''^ How closely then must the Chi-istian 
poor, — yea, and all Christian men, be united to 
Our Lord, if, when we feed them, we feed Him! 
Yes, they are as closely united to Him, as the 
limbs are to the head. Just as when a surgeon 
binds up a broken ann, he does not say, "I shall 
relieve this arm," but "I shall relieve this suf- 
ferer," — so, when we minister to the Christian 
poor, it is not so much the member of Christ to 
which we minister, as Christ Himself. 

Many other thoughts might suggest them- 

144 The Plan of a Meditation, 

selves; but these are enougli, and even more 
than enough, for one day. You see that they 
form a little Sermon, preached by oneself to 
oneself, in order to the edification of one's own 
heart. And let me add, that if all Christians 
would faithfully and duly preach to their own 
hearts these little sermons, there would be com- 
paratively little need for the lengthened discourses 
of ministers. It is chiefly to supply the general 
(but sinful) lack of service in this respect, that 
we grind for our congregations every Sunday, 
and present to them after they have passed 
through the mill of our own understandings, 
those truths of God's Holy Word, which it would 
be far better and healthier for them that they 
should grind for themselves. 

Sixthly, — The Understanding and the Memory 
having done their work in reflections upon the 
passage, next follows the exercise of the Affections 
and the Will, — incomparably the most important 
part of the whole meditation. In this consists 
the practical application of the little Sermon to 
your own heart, — ^in the absence of which it is 
useless, or, in some respects, worse than useless. 
Remember that you are not to look at these 
truths with a barren admiration, but to turn 
them to account in the guidance of your soul. 
First, then, endeavour so to present them to your 
mind, that they may stir feelings and affections 
in your heart, whether of hope, or fear, or 

The Plan of a Meditation, X46 

gratitude, or love. It will be a good plan, though 
not to be too mechanically adhered to, to allow 
any feeling, which thus stirs within you, to 
express itself in Prayer. As for example: on 
observing from the text, that Christ partook of 
the innocent infirmities of our nature, try to 
affect your heart vividly with the truth, that 
there is sympathy in the love which God has for 
you. It is not merely a sublime pity, from the 
lofty elevation of which. He looks down upon 
you and compassionates your case, but a tender 
fellow-feeling which He entertains for you, in 
virtue of the Incarnation. Let your heart then 
bi'eathe forth articulately some such sentiment 
towards Him as this: "Everlasting Father, how 
great is Thy tenderness, Who in all my afflictions 
art Thyself afflicted 1" Think of your peculiar 
trials,— 'trials, possibly, which no heart but your 
own is privy to, — and consider at what particular 
period of Our Lord!s career He entered upon 
the experience of trials similar in- character. — 
Again: remembering that on the judgment-seat 
He will notice, and reward, the cup of cold water 
given in His name to a disciple, think how far 
He could truly say of you, "I was thirsty, and 
ye gave Me no drink ;" how far you have justly 
exposed yourself to such a charge, not perhaps 
by hardheartedness, when misery was thrown 
across your road (that is the fault of very few), 
but by neglecting to step out of your way to 

146 The Plan of a Meditation. 

look for it. These sentiments of the heart should 
be concluded by an exercise of the Will, that is, 
by one or more Resolutions. 

The Resolutions formed upon the thoughts 
which I have suggested above, would be such as 
these : To do some definite act of kindness to 
one of the Christian Poor, under the persuasion 
that it is Christ in him, who solicits relief at 
our hands ; or to take sweetly and cheerfully 
the little crosses of life, esteeming them "light 
aflSiiction, which is but for a moment," in com- 
parison with what Our Lord underwent for us. 

Throughout the whole process, both of Thought 
and Affection, it is to be remembered that if any 
particular sentiment be more acceptable to the 
mind than another, it should be pursued without 
let or hindrance, even though the prosecutiou of 
it should leave no space for other sentiments. 
One holy thought, imbibed by the Understanding, 
blossoming in the Affections, and bearing fruit 
in the Will,* is far better than many scattered 
over the surface of the mind's soil, and never 
taking deep root. Let the rule be, then, never 
to check the mind, when it is warm ' and interested, 
but to give it free rein. Alas ! its warmth of 
interest in things divine and spiritual is so 
rare, — we have, so much more frequently to de- 
plore its deadness, — ^that, when its sympathies 
are really touched, we cannot afford not to indulge 
them; we must even follow on where they lead. 

The Plan of a Meditation. 147 

" Quench not the Spirit," says the Apostle ; and 
let us remember that any holy sentiment, which 
swells and expands in the mind, is the result of 
God's gracious Inspiration. Check not the growth 
and development of that sentiment ; for God 
designs it to bring forth fruit. The only caution 
which this principle requires to be appended to 
it is, that edification, not speculation, is the great 
end of this Religious Exercise. When I speaki 
therefore, of giving reins to the mind, I do not 
mean giving reins to its cuiiosity, so that it may 
pursue speculative questions, but rather giving 
reins to any devout sentiment, so that it may make 
a further inroad upon the heart. 

The Meditation is to be concluded by briefly 
confessing before God, that " all our righteous* 
nesses are as filthy rags," and imploring Him to 
pardon for His Son's sake the iniquities which 
cleave to our holiest things ; by beseeching Our 
Lord to -intercede for us, and to perfume our sin- 
defiled services with the sweet incense of His 
Intercession ; and finally, by solemnly ofiering 
our good Afiections and Resolutions to God 
through Christ, and imploring Him to bless and 
strengthen them. The whole is closed by the 
Lord's Prayer. 

It has been recommended also, before quitting 
the subject altogether, to pick out some one sen- 
timent which has pleased ns most, and to charge 
the memory with it during the remainder of the 

148 The Plan of a Meditation, 

day, so that it may continually be recalled to mind 
at intervals, and be like a fragrant flower, plucked 
from the garden and worn in tbe girdle, whose 
odour refreshes us amid the dust and turmoil of 
life. This last is the precept of the devout St. 
Fran9ois de Sales, whose method of meditation we 
have followed in this Chapter. 

I have aimed at presenting, in as short a compass 
as I could, a perfddt specimen of a Meditation on 
Scripture. By perfect I mean one which, however 
ordinary and commonplace the thoughts may be, 
calls into exercise every power of the mind. In 
meditation the whole mind should, if possible, be 
engaged. St. Paul says, in the passage which 
stands at the head of this Chapter, " I serve God 
with my spirit," — with all the faculties, that is, of 
my higher nature. The Imagination is one of 
these faculties ; it is exercised, as we see, in pre- 
paring for the actual meditation, and picturmg 
the circumstances, to which the text introduces us. 
The Understanding and the Memory are two other 
faculties. The understanding reflects upon the 
passage, and draws from it doctrines and precepts ; 
the memory contributes to the work, by suggesting 
other illustrative passages, and by thus enabling 
us to compare spiritual things with spiiituaL The 
Afiections and the "Will are the highest of all our 
faculties, because on these depends the determi- 
nation of moral character and conduct. The 
Affections are stirred by holy sentiments drawn 

The Plan of a Meditation. 149 

firom the passage; the Will makes its particular 
resolve, that these sentiments shall in some definite 
form be carried out in practice. 

It is certainly desirable (we do not say more) 
that in each meditation all the faculties of the 
mind should be exefted. But all are by no means 
equally essential. That the Affections should be 
stirred and the Will Toused, this is indeed in- 
dispensable. The exercise of the Understanding 
is important, but not equally important with that 
of the Affections ; we need not be solicitous about 
new ideas or brilliant thoughts; plain homespun 
reflections are quite enough. The Imagination 
ranks lowest in point of importance. Its exercise 
often may be, nay, sometimes must be, dispensed 
with. Thus, if a Proverb of Solomon were chosen 
as a subject of meditation, there are no circum- 
stances to be pictured to ourselves, and so no 
scope for the Imagination, 

In conclusion, it may be thought that we have 
sketched out a duty, which theoretically wears the 
aspect of being easy, but practically is full of 
difficulties. Some reader perchance may reason 
thus on what has been brought before him: "I 
understand the method of Meditation, as you 
explain it ; but I feel that I shall make nothing of 
it, if I try. You choose your own passage, upon 
which to found your explanation; and therefore 
you take care to choose one, which shall . offer 
some easy and obvious thoughts. What must I 

160 The Plan of a Meditaticnx, 

do, when I come to a knotty passage, which seems 
to defy all endeavours to extract some wholesome 
lesson from it? Then again, you seem to speak 
as if my mind were so easily and immediately under 
my control, that I could apply it to imagining, 
thinking, remembering, desiring, and resolving, 
all in the space of a quarter of an hour. But 
these things are not so in fact. The dull, prosaic, 
every-day reality is that my mind, when I would 
pray, is either stupid and heavy, or, if quick and 
lively, it is volatile, and cannot easily be pinned 
down to that which is before it. I lack two things, 
which stand in the way of my complying with 
your recommendations ; — a fruitful subject, and a 
mind having such a mastery of self and such a 
mastery of Scripture, as to avail myself of it." 

Well, I entirely sympathize with the objection, 
and feel the full force of it, quite as keenly as the 
reader can do. But I tell you, in answer. Begin 
on the plan I have given you, and try your best. 
Tou will fail and fail over and over again ; but a 
gradual and sure success will be realized ere long. 
Can we really think that the accomplishment of 
an ancient language is to be acquired only by 
grappling with its rudiments, and through blun- 
ders manifold, but that the life of Practical Piety 
can be attained without effort, by listening to a 
i^^ Sermons, submitting ourselves passively to a 
few good impressions, and lazily wishing that we 
were better than we are? Many are the special 

The Plan of a Meditation, 151 

counsels of Practical Piety which seem to one, 
who for the first time makes experiment of them, 
as hopeless and impracticable as the art of skating 
does to a beginner. But we know that a man, who 
determines to skate, and perseveres in the attempt, 
always ends by skating ; and ultimately the ex- 
ercise becomes an instinct with him, which no 
intermission of it can make him forget. In calling 
the human mind to meditate upon Divine Truth, 
we are calling it to a slippery and arduous task. 
But, if it be firmly set to prosecute this exercise, 
it will find the everlasting arms of Grace under- 
neath it, ministering support, and "the hands 
which hang down, and the feeble knees," shall be 
strengthened by a Power from on high, to achieve 
a journey whose goal is nothing less than the 
union of the soul with God. 

It is thought that it will assist the reader in 
practically carrying out the suggestions made in 
this volume, if some Sketches of Meditations on 
various parts of Holy Scripture are subjoined. In 
drawing up these sketches, we shall keep our eye 
upon the ground-plan laid down in the last 
Chapter, but not in such a manner as to be bound 
servilely by it, or any other technical rules. The 
mind should always accommodate itself to the 
passage with which it has to deaL 





Text.— Ps. xvii 8 : QDJou Jajst ?ro4t& miitje Jtart : tjoti 
[lajst hisittH mt in tit nijjtt. 

Memoby. — ^N'otices in other Psalms of exercises 
of Devotion in the night. God communes with 
the inmost thoughts at night : Ps. xvi 7. The 
song of Prais'e is offered in the night : Ps. xlii. 
8. God's name is remembered in the night: Ps. 
cxix. 55. 

Instances from Sacred Sistory, 

Ahram is brought forth abroad by night, and 
bidden to look towards the numberless stars: Gen. 
XV. 5. 

Samicel receives the prophetical call at night : 
1 Sam. iii. 


154 Sketches of Meditations 

Paul and Silas sing praises in the prison at 
nigbt : Acts xvi. 25. 

The Holy Supper instituted at night : John 
xiii 30. 

Imagination.' — Natural suitableness of the night 
season for devotion. — Stillness of the . external 
world, — ^House of feasting hushed. — ^The eyes being 
sealed up by darkness, the mind is thrown in upon 
self-communing. — ^People may dissipate thought 
in the day, but must live with themselves in the 

Uin)ERSTAKDiNG. — The text shows night to be a 
time for self-examination : " Thou hast proved mine 
heart in the night season." — ^The day is past with 
all its sins and mercies, and we can recur to it in the 
stillness of the night. 

Affections. — O God, I thank Thee that Thou 
hast given us the night, as a rest, not for the body 
only, but for the mind also. May the night be to 
me a Sabbath of the Soul ! Speak to me out of its 
stillness, — ^may I commune with mine own heart on 
my bed, and search out my spirit. 

Final Resolution. — ^To be punctual in evening 
devotions, and to let self-scrutiny form a pari' of 

on various parts ofSoly Scripture, 156 

MEDrrATioiT n. 

god's love fob the LOWEB CBEiLTTJBES. 

Text.— Jonah iv. 11 : glni s^ouXts not 1 s^iat 'Nintht% Iftat 
Knat xi'ts, X»i)*rjcin ... . .art mutj xsttU? 

Memoby. — ^The care of God for animals is de- 
clared by Our Lord. — "Are not two sparrows 
sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not 
fall on the ground without your Father." Matt. 
X. 29. Again, " Behold the fowls of the air : for 
they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into 
bams ; yet your Heavenly Father feedeth them" 
Matt. vi. 26. 

XJndeestandikg. — ^Good men imitate God in His 
care for the inferior creatures. Jacob says to Esau, 
" My lord knoweth that the children are tender, and 
the flocks and herds with young are with me ; and 
if men should over-drive them one day, all the flock 
will die." Gen.*xxxiii. 13. 

In the law it is expressly forbidden to muzzle 
the ox that treadeth out the com ; and though St. 
Paul, in commenting on this precept, asks, " Doth 
God take care for oxen ? " his meaning certainly is. 
Doth God take care for oxen ow/y ? L e.. Has He 
no other end in this precept than the making a pro-- 
vision for the inferior creatures ? 

Imagination. — ^Think of the much cattle in the 
city or country where you are, and try to realize 
that each of them is an object of care to God^ 

156 Sketches of Meditations 

The mysterious tie arising out of creation binds 
them to His Heart. The great ones of the earth 
have no time for the management of lower depart- 
ments, which are governed by subordinates ; but 
God cares for the small as well as the great, and 
His Providence is glorified in the humblest depart- 
ments of His Empire. 

ApFEcnows. — O my God, if Thou art so tender 
to the beasts that perish, how much more tender 
shall we expect Thee to be in the nurture and 
discipline of an immortal soul ! How dost Thou 
care for its wants, sympathize with its sorrows, 
and hear the ciy which its sufferings make to 
Thee I Of all which Thou dost give us assurance, 
in that Thou wast made flesh, and didst dwell 
among us ; so becoming a High Priest which 
could be touched with the feeling of our infirmities ; 
wherefore, O God, let me never doubt or distrust 
Thy care and love. Write those words of Thine 
upon mine heart, " Fear ye not therefore, ye are of 
more value than many sparrows." 

Resoltjtions. — 1. To imitate God's tenderness 
in dealing with the inferior creatures, and all de- 

n. To study God's love and providential care, as 
it is manifested in little things. 

on various parts of Soly Scripture. 167 


Text.— Prov. xxviiL 26: J^Jt t^at Irtuftrtf) fit lis tnhn Jtart 
fjs s fool. 

Memoby anj> XJkderstakding. — ^L A bad man 
does not suspect the blackness of his own heart 
(Hazael said, ."But what! is thy servant a dog 
that he should do this great thing?" 2 Kings 
viii. 13) ; and 

n. A good man does not suspect the frailty of 
his own resolutions. 

Propose to illustrate the proverb by the fall of 
St. Peter. 

(1.) St. Peter was quite sincere in his attach- 
ment to Christ, and quite believed, when he said 
so, that he was prepared to go with Our Lord to 
prison and to death. He trusted to his own heart, 
i. e., to his own natural resolution, firmness, and 
strength of attachment, without reference to God's 
supporting grace. 

(2.) See what "a fool" his self-confidence ' 
made of him. — ^He had been warned by Our Lord 
of his especial danger, had received a prediction 
of' his fall, and had with the other Apostles heard 
those words, " Watch and pray that ye enter 
not into temptation." But instead of watching 
and praying with Christ, he slept. When the 
danger came, his natural courage supported him 

168 Sketches of Meditations 

at first, and impelled him to cut off the right 
ear of the High Priest's servant. But it was 
transient like the lightning flash; not steady and 
equable like the sunlight. Seeing that Our Lord 
was not about to defend Himself by the arm of 
flesh, he forsook Him and fled, and shortly after, 
by a question from a maidservant, his courage 
(or "heart") is quite overwhelmed, and he not 
only denies his Master, but persists in the denial 
with imprecations. What shame and confusion 
of face must have been his, when he met the 
other Apostles that night ! He had been the fore- 
most to boast of attachment, and now he had 
been in the first rank of disloyalty. 

Affections. — ^Am I not in the habit of be- 
lieving of myself the soft things which my own 
heart whispers, and has some sudden temptation 
never revealed to me the deceitftdness of my 
heart in this respect ? (Here search the conscience, 
and compel it to give an answer.) Alas! Lord, 
in my prosperity I said, I never shall be moved; 
Thou, Lord, of Thy goodness hast made my hill 
so strong ; but Thou didst turn Thy face from me, 
and I was troubled. Make me for the ftiture to 
despair of myself, and to hope only in Thy grace. 

Resolutions. — ^L To suspect myself whenever 
I feel especially secure. 

n. Never to disown my connexion with 
Christian persons and Christian sentiments, when 
I perceive that they are under the world's frowiu 

on various parts of Holy Scripture. 150 


Text.— Ezek. xxi. 27: 3 toil! oitrturit, oitrturrt, oBtrtutrr 
(t ; aniJ it j5l)aU ie no mort, until ]&« wme tot)0J5t xijgfit it ib : 
anlr 3 Jboill jjiie it tint. 

Imagination. — ^Think that you are on the high 
mountain to which Satan led Our Lord, and that 
all the kingdoms of the earth are shown to you, 
as they were to Him, in an instant of time ; and 
that while you are looking, each of them dissolves 
and takes another shape, as if there were no sub- 
stance, but only show, in all of them. 

Understanding. — 1. There is a principle of 
decay in all earthly polities, just as in all human 
bodies there is some organic disease. 

2. There is such a thing as absolute right to 
govern, and it comes of God; but no man, and 
no body of men, comes up to the true idea of a 
wise, just, and paternal ruler. 

3. In Christ alone is the idea realized. All 
royalties are shadows of His, and shall one day 
give place to the substance. "He shall feed us 
with a faithful and true heart, and rule us pru- 
dently with all His power (Ps. lx;cviii. 73), judg- 
ing with righteousness the poor, and reproving 
with equity for the meek of the earth" (Isa. xi 4). 

Affections. — Eternal King, who art to reign 

160 Sketches of Meditations 

oyer us for ever, reign in me now by Thy grace ; 
overturn the worldly idols which I have set up in 
my heart, and establish Thy throne upon their 

Resolution. — ^In all earthly revolutions, to 
think of Christ's secure Kingdom which is hast- 
ening forward. 



Text.— Rom. xiL 1: 3 iwttcj sow Ijttffort, JritjMit, Jg 
ijje nuwiwf tX (fficolr, tftat 's* yrtstirt jour Jo&i'w a \[%m% 
^atrifite, tolp, atciptailt unto (Qcol)^, tofitci is ^tivcz itasonaift 

Imagination. — ^Picture to yourself the Apostle 
in the Temple, looking on while the victim is 
offered on the altar of burnt offering. It passes 
through his mind, that the Church of God is now 
outgrowing these bloody sacrifices, which were 
reasonable (as toys are reasonable) only in a state 
of childhood; and also that the sacrifice which 
God requires of us Christians, is no poor dead 
victim, but a living sacrifice. 

XJndeestandxng. — 1. "I beseech you by the 
mercies of God." The mercy of God, shown to 
us freely for Christ's sake, is the groundwork of 
all exhortations to Christian practice. First re- 

on various parts ofJSbly Scripture. 161 

ceive this mercy, and then yield yourself to God as 
a living sacrifice. 

2. "To present our bodies a living sacrifice," 
is the same as "yielding our members servants 
to righteousness, unto holiness. " Rom. vi. 19. 
Consider the members of the body which must thus 
be yielded : 

{a,) The Eyes. The lust of the eye must be 
mortified, and the eye employed in reading God's 
Word, or surveying His works. 

(5.) The Ears. We must be "swift to hear" 
the voice of instruction, and must turn away the 
ear from temptation and from flattery; see Acts xii. 
22, 23. 

(c.) The Hands. " Let him that stole steal no 
more : but rather let him labour^ toorJcing with his 
hands the thing which is good, that he may have^to 
give to him that needeth." Eph. iv. 28. 

{d,) The Feet. " I was sick, and ye visited me : 
I was in prison, and ye came ^ unto me." Matt. 
xxT. 36. 

{e) The Mouth. "Let no corrupt communica- 
tion proceed out of your mouth, but that which is 
good to the use of edifying, that it may minister 
grace unto the hearers." Eph. iv. 29. 

" Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned 
with salt." CoL iv. 6. 

Afpkctions. — ^We have an altar, even the 
Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Upon this altar, 
which sanctifieth every gift which is laid upon it. 

162 Sketches of Meditations 

I desire to present my body a living sacrifice. 
May my self-surrender be complete and unre- 
served. Behold, Lord, mine eyes to survey Thy 
glorious works, mine ears to hear Thy Word, 
mine hands to work the works of God, my feet to 
walk in the way of Thy commandments, and my 
mouth to sound forth Thy praise. But my sacri- 
fice being alone cannot be accepted. Therefore, 
Lord, I desii^e to unite it to that of Jesus Christ, 
which alone is meritorious. Receive it for His sake, 
and make it daily more and more entire on my part. 



Text. — Rev. xxi. 1 : ^nh 3 jsato a ntba Imhtn mtts a tufa tattj : 
for Hz first itdSitn Kuts Itt fiijrt jeaitj tojcrt passtly atoap, aiibf tfeerjt 
foaj5 no -morje jsjca. 

Imagination. — ^Read the context, and endeavour 
to picture to yourself the scene described by St. 

Understanding. — 1. Observe that the heavenly 
state is described by negations. " No sun " — " no 
moon" — "no night there" — "no temple therein" 
— " no more sea ; " we being unable to form any 
positive notion of that state which " eye hath not 
seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the 
heart of man to conceive." 

on varioits parts of Holy Scripture. 163 

2. The sea may be conceived of as a separating 
barrier. The members of the family of Christ, who 
here are dispersed over the world, shall there be 
united ; and hypocrites being expelled from the body 
of the Church, the Communion of Saints shall shine 
forth in all its glory. 

3. The sea may be conceived of as an emblem 
of unrest, and of human life, which is restless, 
fuU of uncertainty, treachery, and peril. When we 
have passed the waves of this troublesome world, we 
shall come to the land of everlasting life. 

4. The sea is an emblem of the wicked. " The 
wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot 
rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is 
no peace, saith my God, to the wicked." There will 
be no sin in lieaven, and therefore there will be per- 
fect peace there, for it is only sin which breaks peace 
between God and man, between man and his neigh- 
bour, between man and himself. 

Affections. — 1. I go forth in affection towards 
those who, though absent from me in body, are yet 
present in spirit, worshipping the same God, and 
serving the same Saviour as myself, in a different 
climate, but animated by the same hope of glory. 
Hasten the day, O Lord, when Thou wilt make up 
all Thy jewels, collected from the different mines of 
the earth, into one diadem. 

2. I walk upon the waves of a troublesome 
world. When the winds and the waves rise, I 
shall be overwhelmed, O Lord, if Thou uphold me 

164 JSketches of Meditations 

not. Give me grace to look away from all dangei-s 
and difficulties unto Thee, and do Thou meet me in 
my daily life, and walk by my side. 

3. Oh ! for the new heavens, and the new earth 
wherein dwelleth righteousness ! Grant me grace, 
O Lord, to purify myself even as Christ is pure, so 
that I may be meet for the inheritance of the saints 
in light. 


Text. — John xi. 36 : 3t5VLS torpt. 

Memory. — ^In none of the narratives of Our 
Lord's Passion is it ever said that He wept. The 
occasions of His weeping were on His way to Laz- 
arus' grave, and when He beheld the city and wept 
over it (Luke xix. 41). 

Understaotjen^g. — ^He is never said to have wept 
for His own sorrows. What moved him to tears 
was the sorrows and sins of others. 

1. He wept to show His sympathy with two be- 
reaved sisters. 

Christ feels for us in our earthly losses, as well as 
in our spiritual trials. 

2. He wept over the sin and perverseness of 
Jerusalem. — Can I, and do I, mourn over sin ? 
over the sin of others as well as my own ? Or is 

on various parts of Holy Scripture. 165 

it only the temporal losses of my friends which al- 
fect me, and can I see them sin without a pang ? 

Affections. — 1. The Psalmist prays, "Put my 
tears into Thy Bottle." How must the tears of 
Our Lord, the only pure, unselfish tears. which 
man ever shed, have been treasured up in God's la- 
chrymatory ! O beautiful tears, so full of compas- 
sion and love ! O God, since Thy dear Son shed 
tears for the sins and sorrows of men, let me no 
longer be insensible to those sins and sorrows ! 
Touch my heart with sympathy for the afflicted, and 
with a wistftd desire to pluck perishing souls as 
brands out of the burning. 

2. God pardon the selfishness and worldliness 
of my grief I When I am in trouble, how my 
mind turns always on the centre of self ! Oh that 
I might weep with them that weep, as Our Lord 

3. Our Lord wept for the sins of the metropolis 
of His country. Do national sins ever stir my 
grief ? O Lord, enlarge this selfish heart, and give 
it higher and wider interests than those which it 
knows at present 1 

Some of the views taken in the foregoing pages 
being sketched but briefly, and requiring a fuller 
development, I have thought it well to append two 
Sermons, on points of some importance. They are 
printed as they were preached. 


Is^OTE A. 


Previously to a Confirmation. 

" 2Ctt Cup of 38Usj5ing XntttI) iot iiitss, is it not ^t Com- 
ntuitCon of tfie ^Uoli of Cbitjst? QTj^e IBrtaibf btt'tj^ itot 
irtak, I0 it not tf)t C^ommunion of ilt i^^^ of CliriBt ? "— 
1 Cor. X. 16. 

The time appointed by our Bishop for the ad- 
ministration in this Chapel of the Rite of Con- 
firmation, is now near at hand. It will be proper, 
therefore, that the Sermons which you hear from 
this place, while tending to the general edification 
of all, should at the same time bear some distinct 
reference to the circumstances of the Catechumens, 
who indeed constitute more than a fourth part of our 
entire community. 

Of the several aspects under which Confirmation 
may be viewed, none perhaps is more important 
than that of admission to the Holy Communion 

168 Appendix. 

The Holy Communion, therefore, shall be our sub- 
ject to-day. 

The details of this grand and vast subject will 
be more properly given in private Catechetical 
Lectures. Suffice it, if I can on the present 
occasion put you into possession of the true idea 
of the Ordinance, and point out how our Com- 
munion Service embodies and carries out the idea. 
The true idea of any subject is like the keystone 
of an arch. Our mind, before it receives the true 
idea, is fiill of confused and floating notions which, 
although they may be elements of the Truth, we 
cannot reduce to any system, nor see how they 
hang together. But just as the keystone holds 
together the various stones of which the arch is 
composed, and is the means of combining them into 
one great whole, so every vague and floating notion 
falls into its place, when you have your true idea, 
and out of confusion is built up that order and har- 
mony of views, which embraces within its wide 
range every element of Truth. 

Now for the gaining of the true idea of this 
Ordinance, let us resort to the examiuation of the 
word employed to convey it. " The cup which we 
bless, is it not the Communion f The bread which 
we break, is it not the Communion f " And in con- 
formity with this language of Inspiration, we find, 
at the head of our Communion Office, a title to this 
effect : " The Order for the Administration of the 
Lord's Supper, or Holy CommunionP 

Appendix. 169 

Now, there you have the keystone, or funda- 
mental idea, in that word " Communion." 

What then is the meaning of the word Com- 
munion? It means mutual participation, involving 
intercourse, — nothing more^ and nothing less. If 
I address you, as I do now, without a reply on 
your part, or if you apply to me for some privi- 
lege which I have it in my power to bestow, 
that is not Communion, but only one-sided speech. 
If we take a meal, as Elijah did under the juniper- 
tree, in solitude and silence, that is not Com- 
munion, but a simple reception of food. But if 
two parties discuss a subject, and convey to one 
another the views which they respectively enter- 
tain, or if they sit down to a common entertain- 
ment, and partake of the same fare, that is Com- 
munion, the Communion of Conversation in the 
one case, the Communion of Festivity in the 
other. In either case there is a mutual partici- 
pation. In the one the topic, in the other the 
viands, are the thing shared in common. And in 
either case there is mutual intercourse. Conver- 
sation is the intercourse of mind with mind, and 
conversation (proverbially) flows most easily over 
the festive board. 

Now then what is the JETolj/ Communion, — the 
Communion, specially and emphatically so called? 
What is the distinctive feature which characterizes 
it ? In what consists its difference from the forms 
of earthly and social Communion, to which I have 

170 Appendix. 

adverted? In this principally; that the parties 
to the sharing, and the parties to the interconrse, 
are not merely man and his neighbour, but God 
and Man. 

God and Man mutually partaking of that which 
is symbolized and conveyed by Bread and Wine 
— God in the plenitude of His Love, speaking 
to Man in accents of comfort over this Celestial 
Food: and Man, in return, addressing God in 
the loud accents of Eucharist (that is, of Praise 
and Thanksgiving) — ^that is the Holy Communion, 
that and nothing less, that and (for what can be 
more ?) nothing more. 

Now descend more minutely into the exa^iina- 
tion of the subject thus defined. Mutual pariiei" 
potion^ involving mutual intercourse. 

Muttuzl participation. What is the thing, of 
which, in the Holy Communion, both God and 
Man jointly participate? Let the text answer — 
" The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not 
the communion of the Blood of Christ? The bread 
which we break, is it not the communion of the 
Body of Christ f " The Body and Blood of Christ 
are the things partaken of by both parties. I say 
by both parties, God as well as Man ;-^hold fast 
that word hoth^ and hold fast the idea that Com- 
munion is mubaal participation, because this fences 
off at once a serious error. If you think of the 
Commxmion simply as a partaking on Man's 
side, you will be liable to fall into the error that 

Appendix. 171 

the material Bread and Wine are the Body and 
Blood of Christ, and so to confuse, as the Papists 
do, the outward and visible sign of the Sacrament 
with its inward and spiritual Grace. But if you 
hold fast the definition of Communion which I 
have given you, I think you will be safe ; because 
it must be abundantly clear to the commonest 
imderstanding, that God does not partake of the 
Bread and Wine, and therefore, if Communion be 
a vnutucd participation of God and Man, the Bread 
and Wine cannot be the subject, although they 
may be the sign and instrument (as indeed they 
are), of Communion ; they cannot be the Thing ^ of 
which both God and Man partake. 

Now what is meant by saying that both God 
and Man partake of the Body and Blood of Christ 
in the Holy Communion ? I will attempt to show 
you the real significance of this language, pre- 
mising at the same time that the subject is an 
awfully mysterious one, and that all man's ex- 
planations thereof must be infinitely shallow, only 
just skimming the surface of the Truth. 

You know that God is a Being of Infinite 
Holiness, Purity, and Justice, as well as of bound- 
less Love. Now it is for the glory of these attri- 
butes that sinners should suflfer the full penalty 
of their misdeeds, and that mankind should honour 
His Law by a strict observance of it. Does it not 
conduce to the honour of an earthly sovereign, 
that Justice shall be had upon all malefactors in 

172 Appendix. 

his realm, and that his subjects shall observe the 
laws which he has laid down ? It conduces, then, 
to the Glory of God, — ^it satisfies (that is the word) 
God's Justice, and Purity, and Holiness, — that 
Sin, which is the violation of His Law, should 
meet with condign punishment, and that His 
Law should be respected and carried out by those 
to whom it was given. Now the Son of God took 
flesh and became a Representative Man, in order, 
first, that He might yield in His life a perfect 
obedience to the Law of God, and, secondly, that 
He might, "by His Agony and Bloody Sweat, by 
His Cross and Passion, and Precious Death," 
endure that awful curse, which Man by sin had 
drawn down upon himself. In that Obedience, 
because it is perfect and spotless, in that Sacrifice, 
because it is infinite, in those Sufferings, because 
they, and they alone, are an adequate expiation, 
God finds infinite complacency. As a man's 
bodily wants are satisfied by nourishment, so 
God's claims of Justice are satisfied by the Aton- 
ing Work of His dear Son. And are not man's 
wants and necessities ^s much satisfied, as much 
consulted, by that work of Atonement and Medi- 
ation, as God's claims ? Surely. Does man feel 
his burden of guilt to be very, very heavy, and 
crave after forgiveness, and yet feel that forgive- 
nass cannot be, without something in the shape of 
satisfaction? Here is satisfaction to his heart's 
content, — ^the great Representative of the Human 

Appendix. IIS 

Family, scourged, and buffeted, and spit upon, 
and hung in torture on the accursed Wood; oh, 
is it not enough, and more than enoagh, however 
deeply dyed thy stain, however aggravated thy 
falls? Or is he weak, and does he crave after 
sanctification and grace, and yet dread, all un- 
worthy as he is, to ask so great a boon ? Here is 
satisfaction for this craving also — ^the great Re- 
presentative of the Human Family, a Divine 
Man, yielding in His life a perfect and sinless 
obedience to the entire Law: — is not this a claim 
of merit to all God's blessings, suflScient to ensure 
the success of a sincere application for them ? If 
then in Christ's Work of Mediation and Atone- 
ment, all man's instinctive yearnings (after for- 
giveness, grace, peace, light, strength, acceptance, 
and so forth) find a perfect satisfaction, and if, in 
this same Work, God's claims of Justice, Holiness, 
and Purity, find a perfect satisfaction, I suppose 
we may say, that God and Man, in that precious 
Work, partake of a common Food,— that they 
are both satisfied by the Body and Blood of 
Christ, — ^understanding the Body and Blood of 
Christ, as a figurative expression for His Atoning 
and Mediating Work. Is it not the Communion of 
the Atoning Work of Christ (the Atonement hav- 
ing been wrought by the Victim's Death, that is, 
by the separation of the Body from the Blood, 
which is the life thereof) ? 

But now, how is all the above connected 

174 Appendix. 

specially and emphatically with the Ordinance of 
the Lord's Supper? In the following manner. 
The bloody sacrifices of the Old Law foreshadowed 
the Sufferings and Atonement of Christ, and on 
the ground of that foreshadowing were acceptable. 
When the victim was slain and burned, the of- 
ferer, if enlightened, found comfort in the thought 
that God would provide, in His own good time, 
a lamb for a Burnt Offering: he looked forward 
through the vista of years, or of centuries, with 
dim faith and mysterious yearning, to the Sacri- 
fice of Calvary ; and, on the other hand, God was 
reminded (we are warranted by the Scriptures in 
spealdng of God after the manner of men) of that 
Atonement, which had been decreed in the coun- 
sels of Eternity, and in which alone His perfec- 
tions can find complacency. The great Sacra- 
ment of the New Law is a solemn Commemoration 
after the fact — a mystical representation of the One 
Sacrifice to the ^ye of sense, to the eye of faith, 
and to the eye of God Most High. The Sacrifice 
is only One, and once for all, and can never, and 
will never, be repeated. But as among the moun- 
tains the crash of the falling avalanche, or the 
clang of the shepherd's horn, is reverberated from 
peak to peak, until the distant summit has caught 
and given back the sound, so the echoes of the 
great Sacrifice, and of that exceeding strong and 
bitter cry with which it was consummated, shall 
pass down the vista of ages from generation to 

Ajppendix. 115 

generation, till Time shall be no longer. And 
when two or three meet together in Christ's 
Name, and His Covenanted Presence, screened 
from the eye of sense, tabernacles among them, 
and when the Priest takes the Bread and breaks it 
with words of Blessing before God, and ponrs ont 
the Wine into the Chalice, reciting in simple and 
solemn formula, how upon the Cross Christ "by 
the one oblation of Himself, once offered, made a 
lull, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and 
satisfaction for the sins of the whole world," — 
hark! — ^it is an Echo from Calvary, which has 
come down to us along the Ages — an Echo, whose 
accents are of unspeakable consolation — as voice- 
ful with Love and Grace in the Churches of the 
Nineteenth Century, as they were in the Upper 
Chambera and subterraneous Crypts of the First 

Let us turn now to the second part of the defi- 
nition, and see how this mutual participation of 
God and Man involves mutual intercourse. Over 
this Sacred and Spiritual Banquet, then, God and 
Man address one another. 

First, Man prays^ — confesses his sins, — ^inter- 
cedes for the whole Catholic Society of which 
he is by Baptism a member. This Prayer is not 
Communion — simple prayer can never be — ^but it 
is involved in Communion, it is a fragment there- 
of. How sublime and yet how simple is the 
notion of Prayer as an address to God, — a draw- 
ing nigh to Him with the heart on the ground of 

176 Appendix. 

His Son's Work The heart's desire poured out 
like water before the Lord, — all the cares, and 
sorrows, and sins, and yearnings, deposited in the 
Bosom of Infinite Love and Infinite Wisdom, — 
what a mighty privilege, — a privilege whose 
magnitude probably somewhat interferes with our 
just appreciation of it I How great a thing should 
we account it to be allowed to unlock our hearts 
to the wisest and holiest man upon Earth, in the 
assurance that he would throw all his wisdom 
and all his tenderness into the consideration of 
our case I How great a thing if we were allowed 
to do the same to one of those bright Angelic 
Beings, in whose heart the conversion of a sinnei 
strikes the note of joy and high Thanksgiving ! 
But all the sympathy . and all the wisdom of 
Created Being, what is it to the reach of Infinite 
Intelligence, to the Heart of boundless Love, 
which is in God Most High? "Pour out youi 
hearts at all times before Him, ye people; for 
God is our Hope." * 

Secondly, it is involved in the idea of Commu- 
nion that God shall address Man, — shall speak to 
him, by His Word read, by His Word preached^ 
and by the still small voice of His Spirit in the 
conscience. This again is not Communion (for 
one-sided speech can never be so), but it is a 
fragment of Communion. God addressing Man 

> Ps. IxU. 8. 

Appendix. Ill 

out of His Word, by His Ministers, and through 
His Spirit, in accents of Love and Consolation, — 
stirring him with the promise of glorious meed, — 
kindling his gratitude by the message of forgive- 
ness; kindling his love by a display to the soul 
of His own glorious Perfections; soothing him, 
like a weaned infiint, with the whisper of peace, — 
this is the second element involved in the idea of 
Communion with God, — ^the second great element 
in the happiness of man, if man could but read 
that happiness aright. 

Finally, these messages of comfort cannot but 
wake up from man's heart a second note to God- 
ward — ^the note of thanksgi\dng in acknowledgment 
of God's Mercies, and praise in acknowledgment 
of His intrinsic Perfections. These are exercises 
higher than even Prayer, and which shall endure 
even when Prayer has passed away. For Prayer 
is the expression of need ; and in a higher state of 
existence, where every tear shall be dried, and 
every yearning after happiness satisfied. Prayer, 
as having now no further occasion for its exercise, 
shall be merged in the burst of Praise, — ^in the 
ascription of Glory to God Most High. 

Now from the above, if duly weighed, it will 
follow that a Commimion Office (that is, a Form 
of Devotion for the Administration of the Lord's 
Supper) ought, in addition to the essential act of 
Communion, to embrace every exercise of Worship. 
Communion is mutual participation by God and 

178 Appendix. 

man in the Work of Christ. There must, there- 
fore, be the recital over the Bread and Wine of 
the Sacrifice of Calvary, with its effects, and the 
participation of the Elements by the people, as 
the sign and instrument of their feeding mentally 
upon Christ's Atonement. That is the nucleus 
and basis of the whole grand Ceremony, around 
which every subordinate featm'e groups itsel£ 
But as Communion is a mutual participation 
which involves mvtual intercourse^ a Communion 
Office must also embrace every form of reciprocal 
address between man and God. As aU the colours 
of the Rainbow, disparted among the various 
objects of Nature, blend and harmonize in the 
Sunbeam, so every branch of intercourse between 
man and God should find itself represented in the 
Office of the Holy Communion. And so it was in 
the old times, when by " The Liturgy '' was meant 
only the office of the Eucharist, which indeed 
embraced and comprised all other offices, and of 
which all others were but detached fragments. 
So it is in our own Office of Communion. What 
branch of intercourse with God is omitted in it? 
There is Prayer, in all its forms — Confession of 
Sins — Supplication for the special blessings of the 
Ordinance — ^large Intercession for others — Self- 
dedication. There is Thanksgiving in the Post- 
Communion Prayers — Praise in its highest strain 
in the Seraphic Hymn, and in the Gloria in 
Excelsis. There is the read Word in the Epistles 

Appendix, 179 

and Gospels. And there is the preached "Word in 
the Sermon, which, as has been correctly remarked, 
is in idea and theory, and ought to be in practice, 
part of the OflSce of the Conununion ; nor does 
our Church recognize a Sei-mon at any other time. 
The Lord's Message to the people, through His 
human ambassador, is clearly, however lightly 
some may think of it, a branch of Intercourse 
with God, — an Ordinance in which His Voice 
may be heard, — and so is justly embraced in the 
Communion Service; nor (to be candid) do I 
know any other justification of tearing away the 
Sermon from the Communion Office (as we do in 
this Chapel),* than (the sufficient one, I think) 
that by putting it in its right place, we should be 
wearying the minds of very young people, and so 
defeating the object of all Religious Ordinances. 

I conclude with one word to those, who are 
shortly to receive the Rite of Confirmation. How 
great a dignity, my Bifethren, . is ere long to be 
put upon you I You are to be admitted, if only 
the state of your hearts present no bar to so high 
a privilege, to the closest intercourse with God 
which it is possible to enjoy upon Earth — ^to the 
Ordinance of Ordinances, which embraces every 
other within its range. In what I have said, I 
have but expanded the thought thus simply ex- 

* In Bugbj School Chapel^ it was customary to omit the 
Sermon in the Morning, and annex it to the Evening Service. 

180 Appendix. 

pressed by an old Father : " In Prayer, we speak 
to God ; in Preaching, God speaks to us ; but in 
the Sacred Supper, there is a mutual intercourse 
and a reciprocal approach." See that your prep- 
aration for such an Ordinance be not shallow nor 
cursory, — ^that by patient self-examination you 
bring to light and denounce war against every 
sin which lurks in the secret chambers of the 
heart, — ^that, in entire renunciation of all self 
righteousness, you throw yourself simply upon the 
Boundless Love of Christ for the forgiveness of 
past sins, — ^that every particle of resentment be 
ejected from the precinct of your hearts I 

Then shall the Great Bridegroom of the soul 
initiate you, in that Ordinance, into the Mystery 
of His Redeeming Love. He shall being toit 


* Cant. ii. i. 



Genesis i. 3, pt. of 5, 14, 16, 19. 
V. 3. 

Part of V. 5. 

*' Sn& tfie tbtninjj Kxih tj« mornt'ns fotw ilt firat iJa:^." 
V. 14. 
•* 2.xOs (Btolir mVs, Itt Ij^trt it Ii'sto in Ibt firmamtnt o£ lt)t IttAtn, 
to iiiibt tie ias from lt« nigtt." 

V. 16. 

" ^rOs (Ko& malrt ttoo jjrtat li^ts ; tit jjfctattt Iiait to rult tjt 

Imj, Rut ttt Itjsstr Iijgit to rult tit wijff^t: 

||,c mait tit jjtaxjEf also." 

V. 19. 
"SLnir tit titninjj arib tit morniitij fetrt tit (ourti iaj." 

We find from this Chapter that a certain order 
was observed in the process of Creation ; an order 
resembling that which Art observes in imitating 
Nature's Works. A rough outline of the figure 
is first slsi^tched or moulded by the painter or 
statuary ; and, this having been done, he after- 
wards proceeds to discriminate feature, to develop 

182 Appendix, 

particular expression, and to finish the details of 
the work. Something similar is observable in the 
works of the first Great Artificer, Land and 
water are first created imder tha name of Earth, 
in a state of fusion and combination. This was 
the substratum or rudimentary basis of the Planet. 
Afterwards, and not until the third day of Creation, 
a decree is issued, in ^drtue of which the land 
and water (heretofore a heterogeneous mixture) are 
separated, and become distinct. The waters, under 
the Divine fiat, coalesce into the great receptacles 
of seas and rivers — ^the shore line of continent and 
island, so beautifully diversified in many parts of 
the world by creeks and promontories, is seen grad- 
ually forming itself, and constituting the boundary 
of terra firma. 

So with the arrangements for illuminating the 
Globe. Light is first formed, and diffused ap- 
parently throughout the Universe. This took 
place on the first day. On the fourth day, a decree 
goes out for the creation of those heavenly Bodies, 
which were thenceforth to be receptacles and foun- 
tains of light. These orbs having been formed, 
the streams of light collected themselves into the 
sun and fixed stars — ^they flowed back from all 
quarters of the Universe into their appointed 
channels, and thence have issued forth ever since. 
Tou are to observe then, that the element itself, 
Light, is independent of the receptacle by which 
it is now ministered to us. The element was in 

Appendix. 183 

existence before the receptacle, — ^the connexion of 
Light with the Sun was an arrangement made sub- 
sequently to the creation of Light.* 

Now there is an analogy, continually recognized 
in Scripture, betweeui the natural and the spiritual 
Creations — an analogy, which is the foundation of 
Parable. It is not merely the fancy, which rec- 
ognizes a similitude between the soil and the 
human heart, between the seed and the Word of 
God, between the Son of Man and the sower 
The connexion between the two subjects is founded 
in truth and reality, and is to be explained by the 
very simple and easy principle, that the God of 
Nature is the God of Grace also, and that. He 
being always " the same, yesterday and to-day and 
for ever," must observe, in all' departments of His 
operation, the same order and method of working. 
So that to the analogies between Nature and Grace 
we may apply the words, which Lord Bacon uses, 
after commenting upon the analogies which subsist 
between different departments of Nature, " Which 
things are not merely similitudes, as men of narrow 
observation might conceive them to be, but the 
same footsteps of Nature " (I would rather say, the 
same footsteps of God), "treading or printing on 
several subjects or matters." 

* It would be out of place here to enter into scientific difficulties. 
I take ihe whole of the Mosaic narrative to speak of phenomena, 
not to describe Bcientific truths, and, our object being Edification, 
we speak accordingly. 

184 Appendix. 

This remark will admit of application to the 
Light of Revelation — an application which I now 
proceed to make. 

I need not tell yon that Man is by nature walk- 
ing in utter mental darkness, — darkness as to his 
destiny, darkness as to his duties, darkness as to 
his dangers, and darkness, above all, as to the 
method in which he must be saved. A Revelation 
upon these points must be made to him by God, if 
his feet are to be set upon the way that leadeth 
unto life. And I ask you, by the way, to endeav- 
our to realize to your minds for a moment man's 
need of Revelation in his natural state. That 
need is represented by imagining men io a state 
of natural darkness, unrelieved save by a few 
twinkling stars. Let the faint and feeble ray of 
these stars represent all the aid which man can 
get from what is proudly called the Moral Sense — 
i. e. his innate notions of right and wrong. Can 
you see objects by starlight in their true colours ? 
Can you avoid pitfalls, and marshes, and stumbling- 
blocks by starlight ? Can you do any work ef- 
fectually by starlight ? or is it not rather true 
that we must work while we have sunlight, and 
that, when the night cometh, no man can work ? 
Well, in a similar manner, we see not good and 
e\'il in their true colours, we are ignorant of the 
tremendous danger of sinful courses, ignorant of 
the traps which Satan sets in our way, ignorant of 
how to serve God properly and as He would be 

Appendix, 185 

served, without instruction from above on these 
and similar points. We must have Light ; and 
this Light is called Revelation ; the Revelation 
under which we live (or Christian Revelation) 
being the clearest and best ever yet vouchsafed to 
the world. 

Now in quite the early days of Christianity, 
before yet the Church had taken shape or form — 
while yet the new System was in a state of ftision 
— ^the streams of Revelation were shed abroad 
promiscuously, without, it would appear, any 
regular channels or receptacles. The Promise 
was — " And it shall come to pass in the last days 
(saith God), I will pour out of my Spirit upon all 
flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall 
prophesy, and youi* young men shall see visions, 
and your old men shall dream dreams : and on 
my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour 
out, in those days, of my Spirit, and they shall 
prophesy."* The nearest definition of the word 
prophesy in this passage I take to be — shall 
preach, or utter Religious Truth (not, as modem 
preachers do, after, and as the result of, study of 
God's Word, but) under the immediate inspiration 
of the Holy Ghost. And accordingly we find 
this to have been the case. In the infancy of 
the Christian Church, the promise was ftilfilled to 
the letter. The gift of prophesying was diffused 

* Acts ii. 17, 18. 

\86 Appendix. 

far and wide. There is no trace of its having 
been confined to regular Church Officers ; as the 
windr bloweth where it listed, so the Holy Spirit, 
by way of showing His entire freedom and inde- 
pendence of agency, visited with His miraculous 
influences whom He would, bond or free, male or 
female. The daughters of St. Philip the Deacon 
were virgins who did prophesy, — ^Priscilla joined 
with Aquila in expounding to ApoUos the way of 
God more perfectly. Possibly (for it would be 
quite in accordance with all we hear), Onesimus, 
the fugitive slave, may have prophesied, after 
Paul admitted him into the Church by Baptism, 
and had laid his hands upon him. In the very 
words which he employs in speaking of the sub- 
ject, St. Paul recognizes the possibility of all the 
members of a congregation being qualified to 
prophesy : " If therefore the whole Church be 
come together into one place, and all pr(^7iesy^^ * 
— a mode of speaking which proves that the gift 
must have been at that time unconfined, and univer- 
sally extended to all Christians, without regard of 
sex, rank, or office. 

Such was the Church in its state of fusion, 
when its rudiments were all mixed up together 
in a chaotic form, — ^when the Light had just 
sprung forth from the bosom of darkness, and 
had shed itself abroad in unrestrained luxuriance 

♦ 1 Cor. xiv. 28. 

Appendix. 187 

through the spiritual world. And the gross and 
grievous mistake of certain Christian sects in our 
own day, of the Quakers, for example, and the fol- 
lowers of Mr. Edward Irving, is just this, that they 
cannot see that a state of things natural and appro- 
priate in the period of fiision, is highly unnatural 
and innappropriate in the period of crystallization. 
Their model Church is a Church new-bom, just 
awakening to the consciousness of its powers, — 2, 
Church having life indeed (the organizing principle) 
within it, but lacking system or organization of any 
regular kind. 

But wait a moment, and you will see System 
emerging out of the Chaos. You will find an actual 
prohibition laid by an Apostle upon the ministration 
of females. For so it is written — "Let your 
women keep silence in the Churches, for it is not 
permitted to them to speak, but they are com- 
manded to be under subjection." " It is a shame for 
a woman to speak in the Church." It is but another 
step in conformity with the same principle, to shut 
up the power of ministering in the Congregation, as 
it is now most wisely shut up, to those who by 
laying on of hands are solemnly set apart to the 
Sacred Function. 

My present business, however, is not with the 
Ministry of the Church, but with a subj^t even 
more important — ^the Light of Revelation. And 
I call upon you to observe that this Light has 
observed the same process as natural Light, — ^that 

188 Appendix, 

from being spread abroad over the surface of the 
moral world, it has now coalesced into a Book, 
and from that Book, as the Centre and Medium 
of all Spiritual Light, has Revelation emanated 
ever since. The Bible is now the Orb of the Sun, 
which ministers Light, and in the absence or 
withdrawal of the Bible, there is no Light. Men 
and women inspired unto infallibility exist no 
longer. It was appropriate that they should exist 
in the Church's state of fusion, but some organ of 
Revelation more stable, more permanent, less liable 
to pass away, was needed for her state of crystalli- 
zation. We have that Organ in the Volume of the 
Old and New Testament. 

Now I am most anxious to impress upon you 
this standing and position of the Bible in the 
Scheme of Grace, because there are so many in- 
sidious methods, now in vogue, of sapping the 
faith of young men in that most precious and 
glorious Volume. And among those methods, 
none is more artful or more deadly in its effect 
than that which represents the Bible itself as 
saying little about the Bible. Whence the enor- 
mous importance which you attach to these Sacred 
Books, cries the Romanist on one hand, and the 
Rationalist on the other, when Scripture itself 
dwells but rarely on its own paramount claims ; 
nay, never directly and explicitly unfolds those 
claims except in that one passage, " All Scripture 
is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable 

Appendix. 189 

for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for in- 
struction in righteousness " ? * 

Part of this cry is a directly false assertion, 
having nothing but its own impudence and bare- 
facedness to conciliate belief. Part of it does 
raise a difficulty, which a little thought on the 
real relation of the Bible to the Church of God 
soon serves to solve. As regards the Old Testa- 
ment, it is simply untrue that its paramount 
claims are never or rarely recognized in the 
Volume of Scripture. Our Lord and His Holy 
Apostles make it the constant standard of appeal 
in all matters of Doctrine, always assuming that 
the Ipse dixit of the Law or the Prophets is quite 
enough to set every question at rest; and the 
Prophet David, one of the most eminent of God's 
saints and servants, seems, if we may credit his 
own expressions in the Psalms, to have subsisted 
spiritually upon that portion of the Word of God 
which alone was extant in his time. Witness 
such words as these : " O how I love Thy law : all 
the day long is my study in it." "Thy testi- 
monies are my delight" and my counsellors." 
" Thy word is a lantern unto my feet and a light 
unto my paths." "The words of the Lord are 
pure words ; even as the silver tried in the fur- 
nace of the earth, purified seven times." " Blessed 
is the man whose delight is in the Law of the 

• 2 Tim. iii. 16. 

190 Appendix. 

Lord, and in His Law will he meditate day and 
night." As reggirds the Scriptures of the New 
Testament, it is true that comparatively little is 
said by them of themselvew. And why so ? Why, 
but because the Christian Scriptures were hardly 
yet in existence; because it was God's plan in 
the beginning to instruct His Church by living 
Inspired Men — a plan adapted to the infancy of 
the Church — ^but that gradually, on the dying off 
of these Inspired Men, His plan was changed ? 
Inspiration did not indeed cease to speak, but 
gathered itself up into a Code of written Docu- 
ments, — ^Documents which men were instigated 
to write, not by the promptings of their own 
mind; — ^nay, but "holy men of God spake as they 
were moved by the Holy Ghost." * 

-In conclusion, I will a little further develop 
this Image of Natural Light, as emblematizing, 
and supplying an analogy to, the Light of Reve- 

Natm^al Light then comes to us through a 
medium. God uses the vehicle of the Sun to 
convey it to our eyes. It may come to us imder 
certain circumstances through a second medium, 
as when we are in a building with stained glass 
windows, and the Sunlight coming to us through 
the glass, takes divers hues from the substance 
through which it passes. 

♦ 2 Pet. i. 21. 

Appendix. 191 

God is the Author and Source of Inspiration, 
but man is the medium through which it is con- 
veyed to us. The Gospel was not preached to man- 
kind by a voice from Heaven, but men of like pas- 
sions with ourselves were inspu'ed to declare it. 
Nor did Inspiration do away with the natural char- 
acter of its organs, so as to make them simply 
mouthpieces. We cannot help recognizing a differ- 
ence of style, founded of course in difference of char- 
acter, between St. Paul and St. John. The diversity 
of human character thus indicated confirms the one 
Tmth, to which they both testify, and serves to il- 
lustrate it further. 

Nay, more than this. Divine Truth, though 
one glorious whole, is like a cube, — it has different 
surfaces, each of which may be sui'\'eyed con- 
secutively, until we have gone round about it 
and apprehended it in its integrity. Now each 
Sacred Writer gives us a different aspect of One 
and the Same Divine Truth. St. Mark presents 
Christ to us on the side of His Human Nature ; 
St. John on the side of His Eternal Preexistence ; 
St. Luke in His Sacrificial character as the Victim ; 
St. Matthew in His Regal character as the King. 
It is one and the same Christ presented to us by all, 
only imder different aspects, — One and the same 
realized Ideal of Humanity, presented to us in suc- 
cessive views, that we may apprehend it with 
greater facility. 

So I have seen the sun's glorious ray, which, in' 

192 Appendix, 

its nnsliom and untempered splendour, would have 
dazzled the naked eye, analyzed by the student into 
its component elements, and gazed upon with pleas- 
ure, when separated into its distinct parts. So have 
I seen the gaudy light of mid-day pouring its fall 
splendours through the windows of some venerable 
Cathedral, and casting vpon the ground their rich 
blazonry of crimson and indigo, while the motes 
danced in the streams of coloured light. 

My Brethren, let no perverse reasonings under- 
mine your faith in God's Inspired Word, It is 
the Receptacle and Vehicle of Inspiration — ^regard 
it as such. Let not a day pass without bringing 
your mind into contact with its Light. Try to 
view all subjects in the light which it sheds upon 
them, so that you may see both sin and Christ, 
both your danger and your reftige, even as God 
sees them. Remember that the suggestions which 
are made in the Bible, though they come to us 
through human organs, did not emanate originally 
from the human mind. The Spirit, when He 
moved the holy men to write, had a perfect fore- 
sight of your circumstances, your position, your 
necessities, your trials. Here then — somewhere 
in this voiceM Book — ^is a message for you, a 
message designed and constructed to meet your 
case. Take h eed unto what is written, that such 
message may find thee out, and penetrate into the 
depths of thy conscience. And when it has found 
thee out, walk in the light, lest it only serve to 

Appendion. 193 

condemn thee. Avoid the. sin, — the precipice 
which it shows yawning at thy feet. Seek to turn 
into practice the duties which it reveals. Cora- 
fort thyself by the proniises of Holy Scripture. 
Strengthen thyself by the hopes which it holds 
out. So shall God's Light and Truth lead thee, 
and bring thee to His Holy Hill and to His 



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Poems, 2 vols. 

Thirty Poems. 

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Never Too Late. 

Burgess' Photograph Manual l'2mo. 
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nine Articles. 
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led a Protestant Lawyer to the 

Catholic Church. 
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mor. 2 vols. 
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Poetical Works. 

Life and Letters. 

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Campbell (Judge) on Shakespeare. 
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Carreiif/s Compendlo del Manual do 

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Cavendisli's Iaw3 of Whist 

Cervantes' Don Quixote, in Spanish. 

Don Quixote, In English. 

Cesar L'Histoiro do Jules, par S. M. 
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Champlin's English Orammar. 

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French Conversation. 

Cicero de Officiis. 

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Collet's Dramatic French Header. 

Comings' Physiology. 

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Comment on Pai-lo a Paris. 
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Continental Library. 6 vols, in case. 
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' Poplar Grove. 

Cornell's First Steps in Geography. 

Primary Geography. 

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Cornwall on Music. 

Correlation and Conservation of 

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Keep a Good Heart 

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.^ vols. 
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Study of the Holy Scripturesi 

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Class-Book of Botany. 

Greene's (G. W.) Companion to Olleii' 


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4 vols. 

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2 vols. 
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Wreath of Beauty. 

Hanpt on Bridge Construction. 

Haven's Where There's a Will There's 
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Patient Waiting no Loss. 

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Law of Dr. and Cr. 

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Legends of Saints and Martyrs* 

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Jarvls' Reply to Mllner. 
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Daisy Bums. 

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Keep a Good Heart. 

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Keith (Memoir of Caroline P.) 

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Kenny's Manual of Chess. 

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Kohlransch's History of Germany. 
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History of Turkey. 8 vols. 

Lancelott's Queens of England, and 

their Times. 2 vols. 
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Christ in Hades: a Poem. 


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Barry Lyndon. 2 vols. 

Book of Snobs. 

Mr. Brown's Letters. 


Jeames' Diary. 

Men's Wives. 

Paris Sketch-Book. 

Punch's Novelist. 

Shabby Geatecl Story. 

Yellowplush Papers. 

Works. 6 vols. 

Dr. Bhrch. 

Thiers' French Revolution. 4 vols. 
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Thoughts In Affliction. 

Tin Trumpet. 

Tokens of Affection. 5 vols, 

Tolon's Spanish Reader. 

Towlc's llistory of Henry the Fiith. 

Treasury of Travel and Adventure. 

Trench on the Miracles. 

" Parables. 

" " CJondcnscd, 

Trescott's Diplomacy. 

Truran on Iron Manufacture. 
Tyndall on Heat and Motion. 

On Radiation. 

Tyng-s Four Gospels. 

■[Thiemann's Syriac Grammar. 
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Upfold's Manual of Devotions. 
TJre's Dictionary, with Supplement, 3 

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Vandenhoff's Note Book. 
Vaughan's Revolutions of Race. 
Velazquez' Spanish Dictionary. 


Spanish Conversations. 

. Spanish Reader. 

Vignettes (Cooper's), from Drawings 

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Virginia Comedians. 2 vols. 
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"Wainwright's Sermons. 
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Websior's Spelling Book. New Edition 
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Common School Dictionary. 

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Academic Dictionary. 

Counting-llouso and Family 


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Week's Delight. 
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Wells' Things Not Generally Known. 
Wentz's Smiles and Frowns. 
Whewell's Inductive Sciences. 2 vols. 
Whist, by Coelebs. 

White's (Rev. J.) Eighteen Christian 

White's (Rev. J.) History of France. 
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White's (Kirke) Poems. 
Whitehead's History of Perth Am- 

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Whitney's Poems. 
Whitotfs First Lessons in. Greek. 
Wile's Stratagem. 
Wight's Translation of Cousin. 
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Williams' Isthmus of Tehuantcpec 

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Wilson's (Rev. W. D.) Treatise on 

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Winslow's Moral Philosophy. 
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Woman's Worth. 
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World-Noted Women. 
Worthen's Rudimentary Drawing. 

First Lessons in Mechanics. 

Wright's (A. D.) Primary Lessons. 
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Xenophon's Anabasis, by Boise. 
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Yonge's Becchcroft. 

Ben Sylvestei^p Word. 

Castle Builders. 

Clever Woman of ILc Family. 

Daisy Chain. 2 vols. 

The Trial. 

Dynevor Terrace. 2 vols. 

Friarswood Post Oflice. 

Heartsease. 2 vols. 

Heir of Redclyffe. 2 vols. 

Hopes and Fears. 


Lances of Lynwcod. 

Richard the Fearless. 

Stokesley Secret. 

Two Guardians. * 

Young Stepmother. 2 vols. 

The Dove in the Eagle's Nost. 

Young American's Library. 9 vols. 

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Youmans' Alcohol and Man. 

Class-Book of Chemistry. 

Chart of Chemistry, on roller. 

Chemical Atlas. 

Household Science. 

Young's Poems. 
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Zschokke's Goldmaker's Village.